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For Love Of Man and Beast [Private, Alexander Davis]

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Poor little Lucy was running as fast she could towards the direction of Petunia's Pet Palace, the best and worst place in the world for little Lucy: she loved all the animals there, but she was so sad when she had to leave them, as she couldn't have a pet despite how badly she wanted one. She always made sure as soon as she knew of the place that she stopped by whenever she could to say hello to all the animals...which was nearly everyday, and Ms. Petunia seemed pleased that someone loved the animals so much that she came in every day she could to help her feed them and give them the love and attention they deserved.

It was this routine that caused her to come across possibly the most beautiful creature she had ever beheld: The most gorgeous horse she had ever seen, and she took to little Lucy even more quickly than the other animals at Ms. Petunia's store. She had helped clean up the poor horse and help her get hoofed and even helped fix her mane and tail so that she was as pretty as she was before...before she was abandoned. Ms. Petunia didn't have an specifics on the situation, only that she found her struggling to walk in an alley and had to take her in of course. The idea of abandoning such a beautiful horse broke Lucy's heart and had her in tears, and that's when she decided she would help fixing her up.

Lucy had no classes, so she spent the whole day helping her get healthy and learn to trot and run again, and little did Lucy know that the horse developed a strong bond with her. It wasn't until she was already late going home to Mr. Davis's house that Lucy realized her bond with the mare, her getting upset as she was about to leave.

"Interjection: Oh no, Ms. Mare! Assurance: Don't worry Ms. Mare, I'll come back to see you, I promise!" Lucy stroked the side of the mare's face, and as she looked into her eyes, she saw that she wanted to leave with her...and Lucy's heart sank, because she felt the same way. "Promise: Don't worry, Ms. Mare, I'll find a way..." she promised in a determined, yet slightly saddened tone.

The next couple of days she was constantly on the go: if she wasn't in class, she was helping at Ms. Petunia's. If she wasn't at Petunia's, she was out trying to help townsfolk and teachers to make some money on the side to purchase Ms. Mare. Due to her panicky and clumsy nature, she wasn't very helpful, but she tried her best and was determined to purchase Ms. Mare so she could give her a happy home.

A week had passed, and Ms. Petunia found herself doing the most difficult thing she had ever done in her life: saying no to Lucy as she offered Lien to pay for the horse. She knew something was up when she was coming in later and leaving earlier than she normally did, and she knew for sure the little girl before her busted her cute little bottom off to make that Lien...but, it was only 300 Lien, and the horse was worth near 15,000 now that she was healthy. At first she planned to only say no, but when she did the little girl before her broke down and was crying her eyes out, and it wasn't about her wanting the horse...she just wanted to give the horse a happy home and didn't want her to be taken by someone who might abandon her again. This brought tears to her eyes as well: this girl's heart was just so big. She didn't know what to do until the mare herself walked over and nuzzled the poor little girl, a sad look in the poor horse's eyes.

That's when she made the decision: she would give this girl the best discount she could afford to give, which unfortunately wasn't a lot. She could only reasonably bring it down to 6000 Lien, and that was a lot considering what she was worth and how slow it had been for her store recently. She wrote down the amount on a piece of receipt paper, and told the girl that she would also include a three-month supply of food and a free year of check-ups for the horse, free of charge. She said she would hold the mare for another week, not allowing anyone to purchase her, but after that she couldn't hold any longer. The little girl was so happy that she was given a second chance that she hugged Ms. Petunia and the mare, before taking off to try and get enough Lien for the horse. This actually made a tear run down the pet shop owner's face...how would that little girl ever earn that much money...

For six days of that week, she hustled and bustled as hard as she could, but she could never get the amount she needed. Lucy had no understanding of money, but she understood numbers, so she assumed that since the number of lien she had consisted of less numbers than the amount on the paper that she was short. She managed to at least double her Lien, hitting 600, but it still wasn't close. Crying for the horse who deserved a happy family, she suddenly remembered something that could help her: Mr. Davis! He loved horses, he said that when they first met! Maybe he could help her get the Lien she needed, and better yet, it could be a special gift for him!

It was the last day of Ms. Petunia's promise, and there was only a couple hours left of said promise, and Lucy had just mustered up the strength to ask Mr. Davis for assistance. She showed him the piece of receipt paper, and his eyes grew big and he was startled by the amount, concreting the idea that it was a lot of Lien in Lucy's mind. The moment Mr. Davis mentioned he wasn't sure he could help her, she broke down in tears again. This was more than being upset, she was filled with grief, she couldn't even say anything...she could only cry. Mr. Davis consoled her, and once he settled down her he asked her if it was really that important, to which she could only nod. So, he let her borrow the money, on the condition that she tell him what it was for...but that would ruin the surprise, so Lucy got him to change the rule to her showing him what it was for. She hugged him tightly and said how grateful she was over and over before requesting that he wait here at home and that she promised she'd be back soon.

So here she was, running as fast as her little legs would carry her, trying to get to the pet shop on time, and Mr. Floppsies's hat was a bright a hue of yellow as it was possible for a hat as Lucy only had ten minutes before the hold was off and someone else could buy Ms. Mare. She was actually moving rather fast, but Mr. Davis's house was a might distance away from everything but the academy.

Ten minutes turned to five, and five turned to three. Tears started streaming down her face at the idea of not getting to the store in time. "Pleading: Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please..." she kept repeating aloud as she navigated her way to the pet store. She finally found it and she slipped and fell through the entrance, but quickly picked up Mr. Floppsies's and stood up. "Exasperated: Ms. Petunia, I did it, I have the Lie-" she cut herself off as she saw the worst thing ever: there was a man who at the counter, holding onto Ms. Mare!

She was too late...


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When the day had started out Alex had thought it might be a normal winter day. Sure normal for a huntsman usually consisted with a dance with death and a few close calls, but other then that a normal day. His class would resume soon and he already had a few things in mind though the first class of the year he planned on it being an obstacle course that the whole class would have to make it through together to teach them teamwork, patience with one another, but most of all he wanted to teach them how to trust one another. Such a class lesson would also result in individuals with the potential to be leaders to come forwards. Wanting to rush ahead and complete the course would be looked down upon since the entire class had to pass through the course for them to pass... although Alex was still unsure if he wanted to make that a requirement or not.

It wasn't much later that Lucy had rushed into the house and had asked him if he could loan her some lien. Thinking she wanted a book or a new game, Alex had shrugged and agreed though pointed out that the amount she would ask for had to be within reason, then asked her how much she wanted. The reply came in the form of her handing Alex a receipt that had the price written on it. The moment Alex saw the amount his eyes had widened... and widened... and widened... to the point that someone might think his eyes were about to pop out of his skull. "6,000 lien?! Lucy that isn't something you just go out and spend on a whim! What in the world could you want that would cost that much??" Alex had exclaimed in surprised, a little bit more forcefully then he had intended. In truth he had the money, he actually had more then double, but he was saving it to buy a suit of armor. The young female android had broken down into tears and it took Alex a little while to calm her down.

Finally he asked, "What you want to buy... it's truly important to you, isn't it?" the only reply was a nod since Lucy seemed to be unable to answer with her lips. With a sigh Alex walked into the basement of his house, opened a safe, and soon returned with a small locked box in one hand and a key in the other. The box had a piece of rope that could be slung over a shoulder so it could be carried like a purse. Giving her the money was against his better judgement, but he couldn't stand to see her this sad. He was going to have to learn to tell her no soon. Chances were she wouldn't buy something and then stick him with bill, but asking for is amount of money wasn't something you just did. "Alright, here it is, and in a way that you won't lose it. However I to insist on you telling me what is it you want so badly." The only answer he got was that she would show him instead, though he had to wait here for it.

It was just after Lucy had left that Alex realized that his thumb had been covering a signature on the receipt he had been holding. Petunia's Pet Palace? So that's where Lucy had been hanging out lately. It made sense, she really liked animals. Though now the 6 thousand lien made sense; she intended to buy a pet. On one hand that was a good thing since it would keep her company and make her happy. That and several pets from Petunia's had a semblance so maybe the pet could protect her if they ever got surrounded by Grimm or anyone else that wanted to harm her. On the other hand, it took a lot to maintain a pet though he was sure they could do it together. Besides considering how she liked bunnies and other cute little animals chances were she'd get something small. Right?

Right?

Riiiight?

Riiiiiight?

Left.

Alex bolted out the door and made his way to the pet store as quickly as he could. Yeah, he might of been breaking his promise but to wait for her but something told him that he needed to get to her as quickly has he could to make sure what ever she was buying at the pet store was maintainable by them. By the time he got there though he found Lucy with a shocked look on her face as she looked at the front counter, where someone seemed to be buying a very beautiful looking horse. "Sorry that I broke my promise Lucy, but when I realized you intended buy a pet I had to make sure you were getting something you could handle." Alex stated in a sorry tone, then he saw Lucy's heart-broken gaze.

"Lucy?" Alex followed Lucy's gaze to the horse, whom was now looking at Lucy with her ears perked up and facing forwards like any horse that is happy. Clearly the horse liked Lucy... but why was the girl so distraught... oh. "You... you wanted the horse, didn't you?" Alex asked with a sigh, then knelt down next to her so they'd be at eye level. "Lucy... one can't go out and buy a horse on a whim. You first need to have a stable for her first." Alex stated as he held he rubbed his temples, attempting to get rid of the headache he was about to have. This wasn't good. Lucy's heart was broken and she wasn't going to be recovering from this anytime soon. "I know you wanted to surprise me with your new pet, but for something like this you need to let me know. If I knew I would've had a stable up and ready for her in days. However now that that I think about it the academy has a stable. She would've been able to stay there..." Alex said, but then he gave up on it. There was no point if someone else tried to buy the horse.

That was then the beast took matters into it's own hooves. With a snort it whipped it's head up, yanking it's reins out of the hands, grabbed onto the reins with it's mouth, turned around, and walked over to Lucy and Alex before opening her mouth and dropping the reins so they dangled in front of Lucy. Alex stared at the horse, and was completely at a lose for words. "Um... okay... that just happened. I think you picked a horse that's a bit free willed there Lucy."

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"Disbelief: ....N-no..." Lucy's knees buckled and left her kneeling on the floor. Darkness surrounded her, and all words around her were drowned out by her sorrow...

She was too late...

She couldn't give Mr. Davis his surprise gift...

Worst of all, she couldn't give Ms. Mare a nice home...

She had failed both Mr. Davis and Ms. Mare...the burden was so heavy and overbearing that all should could do was sob, no control over the tears streaming off her face and onto the floor, no control over the heart-wrenching sobs coming from her diaphragm. Thoughts of Ms. Mare going to someone who would abandon her again, or do even worse, and these thoughts crippled her...that because she was too slow, Ms. Mare could be hurt or left alone all over again.

Crippled with fear and regret, she noticed nothing about the outside world until she saw something appear in front of her face. They were reigns...and when Lucy looked up she saw Ms. Mare looking at her expectantly. Lucy's waterworks went into overdrive, and she threw her arms around Ms. Mare's strong neck and sobbed. "Apologies: I'm so so sorry Ms. Mare, I didn't make it in time, I really wanted to make you and Mr. Davis happy but I was too slow I'm so sorry..." her sobbing ramble was interrupted by Ms. Petunia, who was doing her best not to get choked up.

"Oh dear little Lucy, I'm so sorry...I wish I could do something, but this gentlemen..."

"Little lady, I have a question to ask you: What are your plans for this horse?"

"Honest Response: I just wanted t-to give Ms. Mare a n-nice home, where s-she could eat all the oats and h-hay she wanted and to run fr-free and not have to w-worry about s-s-someone...abandoning her a-again, and I k-know m-my Professor-Fr-Friend Mr. Davis would n-never hurt her a-as he loves h-h-horses." Lucy managed to sob out before going back to tears, Ms. Mare moving her head so that it resting atop hers, trying to comfort her.

"Well little lady, let me tell you something. You've got what must be the biggest heart I've ever seen, enough that you had this lady here filibustering me like she was some sort of lobbyist from Atlas or something, trying to make time for you. I'll be honest with you: I was planning on having her try out to be a race horse. Problem is that by the time I get her over there for tryouts and testing and the like and got the results back, it would be well over the time I could bring her back here. Now I would never leave a horse behind like that, but I can't guarantee that whoever I would sell her to next would treat her the same as you. Hell, I don't think anyone would love that horse like you do, and she herself seems to feel that same way...so, you know what? I guess it turns out I'm no longer interested in this fine equine...guess she'll have to wait until the next buyer comes along." The man smiled and winked at her, and Lucy was a but confused for a moment, but she finally was able to process it all.

"Processing: Y-You mean..."

"Yep, she's all yours, youngun!"

Lucy's face instantly lit up and she took her arms off Ms. Mare and gave the man a big hug. "Grateful: Oh thank you, oh thank you so much Mr. Nice Man, thank you!!! Compensation: What can I ever do to repay you?!"

"Aww, no problem darling. You just go ahead and love that horse as much as you can." Lucy let go of the man as he was ready to leave, and just before her left he spoke of the professor. "That one strong girl you got there, lad. If any of my sons had been that strong, I'd have gotten them into wrestling. Poor boys gonna have to watch themselves around her." he laughed as he rubbed his back, then proceeded to leave the store.

Lucy flew up to the counter and set the box in front of Ms. Pentunia, unhappy to stand still as Ms. Pentunia took the key and and opened the box. She counted out the Lien, and rang it up on the register. "Congratulations, Lucy, you now own a horse!" Lucy jumped for joy, and grabbed the reigns of Ms. Mare. "Correction: Ms. Mare isn't for me: she is for Mr. Davis! Excitement: I can't wait to surprise him, hehe~!"

She turned around skipping...only to stop dead and her tracks when she saw Mr. Davis was there. Her smile dropped, and panic filled her again. "Interjection: Ohnonononononono! Panic: Mr. Davis, you're not supposed to be here, you were supposed to stay at home so I could surprise you with the horse so you could be so so happy because you told me you love horses and then both you and Ms. Mare could be happy but now you are here and it ruined the surprise why did you leave I told you I would show you what I bought I promised I would so why would you be here unless..." Lucy stopped and stared at Mr. Davis.

"Fear: Unless...you didn't...trust me..." the bright yellow hue of Mr. Floppsies's hat faded into a clear nothingness, and Lucy's eyes looked dead within as the reigns to Ms. Mare fell from her hand...

And Lucy bolted out the door of Ms. Petunia's store and ran into town, running as fast her tiny feet could carry her.


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As Alex had spoken a moment ago Alex started to wonder if she was hearing him. At first he thought she was because she was remaining silent, however as she fell to her knees and started to whimper Alex realized that Lucy was unable to hear him at all. The bunny confirmed it. Because of this, the only thing Alex could do was hold her close, or as close as he could in that area that is. While this was happening Lucy started to apologize to the horse, saying that she wanted to make her and... Wait... WHAT?! Alex couldn't believe his ears. The horse... Lucy was planning on giving the horse to him? All this time he had been thinking that she wanted her own pet, but instead was trying to buy him a pet... no... a partner. Now Alex felt his heart start to break because he hadn't let her surprise him with it. The moment she realized he was there, her heart was going to break.

Trying to think of a way to handle this without Lucy's heart breaking anymore, Alex was surprised to see that the man that had been trying to buy the horse instead was so moved by Lucy that he changed his mind! He was going to give the horse to her! Alex quickly let go of Lucy as she ran up to hug the man. The horse's ears perked forwards and her lips seemed to curl into a smile as she let out a happy neigh. However at the man's comment about Lucy's strength Alex had to stop himself from laughing. "Ain't that the truth." Alex said with a smile while thinking In more ways then one pal.

However that was the moment Alex had the chance to slip away and make it back to the house before Lucy realized he was there... and he missed it. The girl's heart was broken again and it was his fault this time. She was out the door before he had a chance to grab her. "Lucy! Wait!" Alex called out, but there was no way he was going to be able to catch her. He already knew she was faster then him. "GAH! Swift, as in not to Alex!" the professor yelled at himself, before the back of his head exploded with pain that caused him to fall to his knees, grasping his head. He turned around to see the horse glaring at him as it turned back around to face him. The mare had just used her rear legs to kick him in the head!

"Yeah I deserved that. Look I know I don't deserve your help right now but if I don't catch her she's going to get into a lot of trouble." Alex replied while rubbing the back of his head. The horse responded by whinnying loudly while rearing and kicking her front lets before slamming down onto her front hooves and letting out a large puff of hot air onto Alex's face, clearly still mad. Was the horse trying to say something? Something about how the horse moved made Alex feel like he was reaching for a forgotten memory. However the horse seemed to push Alex out the door with her nose, then turned so Alex could jump on. It had been a while since he rode a horse and even longer since he rode bareback, but he wasn't going to argue. He quickly jumped on and grabbed the reigns, and the horse quickly took off running.

And it was clear to how fast the horse was running that this wasn't a normal horse. The mare was out running some of the cars on the road. She was going so fast that Alex almost missed Lucy's trail twice. However finally after running after a little while the horse and Alex found her, they ran up next to her, and Alex leaned over to scoop her up onto the horse and placed her on the horse in front of him. "Lucy... look at me." Alex said in a soft yet sad tone, a small tear starting to run down his face. The horse stopped running and was now slowly walking through the streets, her horse shoes clacking against the road.

"Lucy... I'm sorry for breaking my promise to stay at home. However it has nothing to do with trust. You see Lucy... I lost a lot of friends and family throughout my life, and it's made me over protective to a fault of what I have left, like you. I was so over protective of you that I wanted to make sure that you got a pet that you could handle... not realizing you were trying to get me a gift. Lucy I am so sorry." Alex stated truthfully as tears started to flow down his face. Sometimes the truth really did hurt, but that didn't mean one had the right to lie.

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Lucy was empty inside: her one true friend in the world didn't trust her, and she couldn't handle that, it was too much. She was running and running, which is the only thing she knew to do when she couldn't handle something, and she had no idea where she was going but she didn't care right now...she just had to get away.

She failed at doing this however, as Ms. Mare and Mr. Davis had caught up with her and Mr. Davis snagged her and pulled her up onto the horse and she didn't want to see his face...didn't want to look at him. He asked her to do exactly that, and she hesitated, but did look at him...and she saw the sadness on his face. This was it: he was going to tell her they couldn't be friends anymore, that she would have to stay with someone else, that she messed up and it was all her fault somehow. The moment Mr. Davis said her name, she freaked out and jumped off Ms. Mare and ran off sobbing.

Mr. Davis was her only friend, she couldn't bare to lose him, so she would run and run and run and hope that maybe he would change his mind. She ran past buildings and people and animals, everything was a blur, she didn't care about any of it: she just needed to get away from Mr. Davis so he couldn't say those terrible words she knew were coming.

She ended up running into a dark alleyway full of puddles, splashing the water all about, running around the granite halls until she ran right into one of them and fell down into one of the many puddles. She sat there crying, not even looking up until she heard an unfamiliar voice.

"Aww, poor lil' darlin'. You alright?"

The voice came from a figure she didn't recognize, and she couldn't really make his features as the alleyway was rather dark considering how bright the sun was today, so all she could manage to do is continue to cry and shake her head.

"Aww, poor lil' darlin', I bet that really smarted." He was moving towards her, and Lucy got scared and started to back away from him, but she stopped once he called out to her again. "Please don't be startled by meh, I'm not here to hurt ya, I just wanna make sure you are doin' alright." She stayed in place sobbing until he was in front of her, and that's when she got a better look at him: he was rather tall, but he was wider than he was tall by a decent margin, and he hand a lot of facial hair that seemed like it wasn't taken care of very well and he smeeled kind of strange. He bent over a smidge to check out her forehead for any marks, but when he didn't find any he looked at the wall and saw how part of the corner had broken off and there were cracks going up and down the wall that were not natural nor there prior.

"Welp, looks like the wall got the worst of that exchange." he said with a bit of a deep chuckle, but Lucy continued to cry. "Aww, poor thing. I doubt that wall hurt ya, but I think you were hurtin' long before you got here. Whas wrong?" Lucy just stared at the man for a moment before she spoke up. "Regulation: I-I-I'm n-not su-su-supposed t-to t-talk t-to st-strangers..."

"Ahh, smart lil' girl you are. Well then, we should be properlay introduced." the bigger-sized man then sat down next to Lucy without seeming overbearing in anyway. "Mah name is Backalley Bob, and this here is mah home! Whas your name, lil' darlin'?" Lucy didn't respond right away, as she was still rather scared and was as timid as she was outgoing, but then the man smiled kindly at her and she managed to speak up a bit.

"Introduction: M-My n-name is L-Lucille Annab-belle K-Klug, b-but you can c-call me L-Lucy, M-Mr. Bob." She did her best to smile back, but she wasn't very successful. The man's smiled widened even farther, and he chuckled a tiny bit before he spoke up. "Lucy, that'sa very pretty name, and I think it fits you might well. Nice to meet ya Lucy! Not to toot my own horn or anythin, but I figure it's better to let someone know a bit about yourself before you go on askin them to deevulge somethin about themselves." he brushed his beard a couple times, then began again.

"Not too much to know about me: I dwell around these parts, tryin to make a livin to and stay alive. It's rough, but I ain't the type to complain too much about it. It's not all bad, only when it rains do I really have a problem." Lucy was listening to the man, but she was confused on something. "Inquiry: Umm, Mr. B-Bob, if you l-live around here, th-then where is your house? Inquiry: Wh-Where is your b-bed and your b-bathroom and y-your k-kitchen?"

The man chuckled before answering her promptly after the chuckle. "Yur lookin' at my house right here: these alleys are mah home. They don't call 'Backalley Bob' fo nothin'! That piece o cardboard over there is my bed, and I spend whateva money I can scrounge for on food, or I sometime check the bins aroudn here. You would be surprised what folks throw away when they can afford things. AS for a restroom...well, some things aren't polite to explain to a sweet lil' lady like you, so we'll leave that be."

Lucy's eyes, which had just started to dry up, were beginning to well again at the story of the man. "Heartbroken: B-B-B-But Mr. Bob, that's t-terrible!" The man half-chuckled and half-sighed, sticking out a finger and waggling it. "Now now, don't you go on and shed anymore tears, not on my account. I made a bad choice in my life, and this is the result of it. Nothin' to be sad about. Now, howsabout you tell me a lil' about yourself?"

Lucy felt so bad for this man, that the least she could do is talk to him. "Backstory: I am a st-student at Syne Academy, a school for hunters and h-huntresses, and I am taking cl-classes to learn all that I can! Continuation: I also h-help out with the animals at Ms. P-Petunia's Pet Palace, and I love to r-read and take care of animals, and I currently r-reside at a very nice h-house that belong to m-my Professor-Friend Mr. Da...Mr...Davis..." she then sadly looked down at the pavement.

"Well, that sounds like a mighty fine life! With such a great life like that, what in the world could be keepin' ya so down, darlin'?" The man looked at her and waited for her to respond, and Lucy looked up at him with a face stuck between confusion and being terribly upset. "Answer: W-Well, it's my Professor-F-Friend, Mr. Davis. Explanation: He...he cares about me v-very much, and he's my only friend and I c-care about him too, but he...he doesn't trust me! Story: I was working very hard to buy Ms. Mare, the most beautiful and sweetest horse in the whole world, because I didn't want anyone to abandon her ever again and I knew that I could find someone who would love her because I can't have pets...but I couldn't make enough money to buy her! Continuation: I was crying about it because I only had so much time to buy her, and I didn't want to miss out and have her be abandoned again, and that's when I remembered that Mr. Davis could help me. Continuation: I knew that he loved horses and that he could have a pet, and then he and Ms. Mare could be friends and Mr. Davis wouldn't have to be alone when I'm not home and...he always smiles, but I feel like inside he's really crying, although I'm not sure why...but with Ms. Mare he wouldn't have to cry inside anymore because he would always have a friend! Conclusion: That's why I asked him to borrow some money to buy Ms. Mare, and I asked him to stay at home so I could surprise him with his new friend...but he followed my to Ms. Petunia's and he ruined the surprise because he didn't trust me and now I can't see him again because we won't be able to be friends anymore and I CAN'T DO THAT!" she started crying again, and the man gently put his arm around her and did his best to comfort her.

"Easy darlin', easy...there there, it's okay. You know what, I think it sounds like just one big misunderstanding between two people with big hearts who care about one another. You know, I think I have a story that might be good for you..."the man began, and Lucy wiped her eyes and looked up at him expectantly and intrigued.

OOC:
If Alex stays back and out of sight, he can hear all of this without being seen. There is more to the story, so he should stay back for now.


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Alex had barely managed to grab onto Lucy and pull her up onto the horse but he had still managed to do it. Now he was thinking that all he had to do was give her an honest explanation that was straight from his heart, and that would be it. The situation would be settled, Lucy would stop crying and cheer up, they'd go home and start building a stable for the horse who still needed to be named. And apparently Alex also assumed that if he simply willed for it then anything he wanted could happen, such as his hair turning blue, his dead teammates coming back to life, and Lucy becoming a real girl so he could actually adopt her and be an actual father instead of a blackmailed caretaker.

But, sadly, when we try to make our wishes come true simply by trying to will it with our minds, the world simply laughs in our face. Or in this case cried in Alex's lab as Lucy bolted off of the back of the horse before he could even give start telling her the truth. All he had managed to get out of his mouth was her name... and that was it, she was gone. Next time he needed to hold her in place with a hug. "Dang it. After her!" Alex ordered his new partner, and the mare quickly raced after Lucy. However this time she didn't run in a straight line but instead weaved though the back alleys and ducked under stuff that was in the streets, making it hard for Alex and the horse to keep up with her. Traffic was proving to be a problem as well.

Alex almost lost Lucy's trail when she seemed to of stopped in an alleyway. Dismounting, Alex started to head into the alleyway when he thought he heard Lucy talking to someone else. Alex didn't know who this person was, so all the more reason to rush in and get Lucy out of there if this person was a threat. However before he could enter the alley the horse grabbed him by the back of his coat and pulled him back. "Hey! What are you doing?!" Alex demanded though he was far enough away from Lucy that she wouldn't hear him. The horse grunted and shook her head with her eyes half closed. "Hey! I'm not letting her go, but you better let go of me gal." Alex responded to the horse in a stern tone. The mare responded by doing the horse version of counting, which was dragging her left front hoof against the ground several times in a row. "Count? Count what?" the response was the horse nudging Alex's watch. "Wrist? No... watch... no... time? You want me to count time? What do you... wait you want me to give her some time?" Alex said, trying to figure out what the horse was trying to say. Clearly this beast of war was very intelligent to the point that she had her own language. Alex was going to have to learn it.

The mare seemed to nod, then glance towards the alleyway with her ears perked up and the corners of her mouth lifting slightly. Alex glanced back towards the alleyway, then back at the horse. "But she's talking with someone that I don't know and that person might be dangerous! Wait... are you saying that you know that person?" Alex corrected himself, remembering that horses had really great hearing. The mare nodded again. With a groan Alex conceded. "Fine, I'll give her some time, but I want to hear what's going on so I'll know if she's in trouble or not." Alex stated flatly and inched into the alleyway till he could clearly hear Lucy and whom ever she was with, someone calling himself Bob, but stayed out of sight.

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"You know, mah life didn't use to be like this. I used to have a house, and a wife and a child. I wasn't the talk of the town or anything, but I was definitely happy...although it didn't last. Our son passed while he was really young, and it was very sudden: one moment he was sleepin', next minute he was gone. Me and my wife, Cheryl, were hurtin real bad, but it hurt her much more than I it would seem, and rightfully so: carrying our son around that long only to lose him so shortly after. She started to lose her mind, and there was nothin' I could do for her other than schedule to speak with doctors and psychiatrists and stuff. Anywho, one day she seemed better than most, like almost happy, and it was very odd. She said she was going to go hang out with some friends, something she hadn't done in a long while, and I was happy for her. So she left, but something still felt wrong, so I called up one of her friends and she said that they had no plans to hang out and that Cheryl hadn't even called her. I was so worried that I ran out to our garage and found that she was trying to end her own life! I opened the garage and got her out of the car. She was all upset and confused, but I helped her calm down and we talked about things before just taking some time for just us and hitting the sack early that night."

Mr. Bob wiped a tear away from his eye before he spoke up again. "Now I trusted Cheryl with many a thing, but my love for her and my worry thereof got the better of me. When you think that something bad may happen to a loved one, trust gets thrown right out the window: you still trust them, but you feel the need to protect them, and that feeling overwhelms the ability to not react somehow. Had I not done anything, my wife would have died. I'm just sure that your friend felt the urge to protect you. Sometimes it's a good call, and sometimes it's not, but you can't take that chance...ya know?"

Lucy sniffled a bit and wiped her eyes, but she nodded in understanding. "Understanding: I think that I understand, Mr. Bob: When you love someone very much, sometimes you worry about them, and the actions you take because of your worry are not due to a lack of trust...but in an effort to protect those you love. Reasoning: That just means that...Mr. Davis really REALLY care about me, and he was worried for my safety. Hindsight: Now that I think about it, I did ask for what seemed to be a lot of money, and I guess that could have been for something I broke or I could have been in trouble somehow..."

"I bet you that was exactly what it was...and I have a feeling that this same friend of yours is very worried about you and looking everywhere for you right now, so how about we go looking for him?"

Lucy wiped her eyes one last time, then nodded. Mr. Bob extended his hand and she accepted it, and he helped her up. Lucy was now less upset and nervous about seeing Mr. Davis again now, rather she was anxious to see him again, but she was still rather curious about Mr. Bob and how he got here. "Inquiry: Umm, Mr. Bob, what happened to your home and wife?"

"Well...my wife Cheryl ended up accepting the death of our son, but our healing came at the cost of our marriage. We were both different people after that, and it just wasn't working out. We split up, and a few months later the business I was working for was bought out and the new owner downsized, so I was cut out. I was already a bit behind, my wife always helping pay for everything equally, and after that I lost everything I had. Been trying to find a job since but I haven't had any luck. But that's enough about me, let's go find your friend."

Mr. Bob held out his hand and Lucy accepted it gently, and the went to go exit the alleys.


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Alex stood by but out of sight as Bob started to tell his story to Lucy. If anything happened all Alex would have to do was launch himself upwards into the air above the alleyways, create a leaf parachute, and look down to see where Lucy was. After that it was just a matter of diving down head first into danger and saving her... and going head first into danger was his specialty. He did earn the name Knight Of The Forest for something after all, and his team was known as team VAGD, or Vanguard, for more then it being made up of the names of each member. Heck, they were sometimes called the Hunters of the Round Table. He might be kind with a huge heart and capable of baring anything on his shoulders, but Alex was a warrior capable taking on multiple opponents at once.

However there were somethings that could still make him cry; such as Bob's story. He could tell from his voice that Bob was telling the truth. Losing a loved one was hard, and Alex knew that from experience. He had lost most of his childhood friends and his mother all in one go, and then lost his entire team along with his newly reunited father, along with a gigantic team of scientists, all in one go as well. At his core Alex was, and still is in many ways, a broken man. Lucy was wrong in that he was crying on the inside; he was weeping on the inside. It wasn't just Lucy that had needed to hear Bob's story and lesson, but Alex needed to hear it to.

He took a deep breath, and slowly let it out before looking over at the mare that stood by, an understanding look in her eyes. "You lost someone you cared about too, didn't you?" the horse nodded. Alex vaguely remembered Lucy going on about the horse being cared for and no longer neglected... maybe she hadn't been abandoned but rather lost her last owner... master... partner, or what ever you wanted to call that person. The horse seemed to back this up. "I'm gonna need to tell Lucy about why I'm so protective of her. Including the parts I really don't wanna share... aren't I?" the horse only nodded in response.

With a sigh, Alex turned around the corner and started to walk towards Lucy when her and Bob started to go looking for Alex. "Lucy!" Alex exclaimed, as if he had been searching for her this entire time, then he looked up at Bob and frowned slightly. So the man needed a job eh? Maybe there was something Alex could do about that... but first things first. "Sir... Let go of her." Alex said in a stern voice, but there was clearly a worried look on his face, and his was stained with recently shed tears. He had to act as if he hadn't heard a word of the conversation Lucy and Bob had a moment ago... though Alex really didn't want to. Bob was a good man but the two of them hadn't officially met so Alex had to act as if he was a stranger holding onto his kid.

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