Feb. 17th, 2009

fast_max: (I call bulshit)
The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done. -Allard Lowenstein

Stephen is [profile] delamarck. Kendra and Mallory are characters related to that unepxected plot from a while back, if somewhat later, after events that are still being worked on.

Max was staring at the letter in his hands when a small stirring of the air let him know his office's door had been opened. No knock, and silence - his eyes only flicked to the incomer's feet to confirm his guess who it was out of habit.

"It was your idea, wasn't it?"

"What was?"

Now he looked up at his boss, and waved the letter, the familiar paper of a missive from the White Council hard to mistake. Stephen's face took on an ah expression at that and Max rolled his eyes.

"You mean about Kendra. Well... her current mentor was clearly not up to dealing with her right now. You don't have an apprentice--" Max still gave a small ... twitch at that word, "-- and you have a gift for making people feel better that the girl sorely needs. And she has a great bulk of still too-raw talent that you can definitely help her deal with."



"... I'm a kid-runaway from home who was taken in by Warden as an act of mercy and, in many ways, well, uneducated. I'm far from certain I'm fit to mentor anybody."

The confident look slipped just for an instant into 'incredulous' - so quickly past, in fact, that there were about two, maybe three people who could read it, within the smooth facade - but one of them was in the room. "What do you think you've been doing with, oh, just about every cadre you've got assigned or have taken in for the security department, Parker?"

"That's different. This is what I do, and they're already... good at it too when we pick them up, it's just a question of direction. No... no shaping. What if I just... lose her?" Heavens knew that girl had pain and anger enough in her for that to be a real concern.

"Maximilian Parker, are you going to sit there and tell me that you're actually considering not undertaking the task because of fear of failure?"

"Guess so."

"That's a first."

"There's a first to anything, isn't there?"

"Listen to yourself." Stephen's fluid motions had him at and around Max's desk in no time at all, hand hovering over his shoulder, next to his ear, possibly wondering whether to grip or smack him. "Don't mean to say that you think somebody who's never seen her in her life, doesn't know her story, hasn't seen her stumble, half-stunned, in my office as she did, hasn't seen what works and what doesn't around her, and, most of all, hasn't known Mallory" this bit got Max to wince and look up "will have a better chance at not ... losing her!"

"I... No. Probably not."

"Is she worth your time?"

"Of course she is, it's the other way arou--"

"Never mind that. It's something that's worth doing, and you know it. And she needs what you can give her."

"She knows you better, trusts you."

"Yes, but she'll have to compete for time with me with the whole of the lot out there." Stephen indicated the office building. The company he was running. "That's not going to be fair to her."

"And she's had quite her full of unfair, hasn't she."

Stephen nodded, and Max shook his head. "I know nothing of what to teach an apprentice."

"You'll learn. Go. Talk to the girls' previous mentor, he'll bring you up to date. Help her pack up, we'll settle her somewhere that she'll find convenient."

"Right." Max rose, gave a small, thoughtful smile to his boss, and touched his arm briefly. "Right. I'll be back later." That got him an eyeroll.

"Your schedule will be flexible enough to--"

"I'm not laxing in the duties I have for something new, Stephen. Don't you even think you're going to miss your head of security."

Small smile. "Good. I rather hoped you'd see it that way."

Small snort, and the larger man was out the room.


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