Ready, Aim ...
Bao frowned thoughtfully at the targets. There were five set at varying distances from where he was and they were not set out in an orderly near to far pattern. It bothered him, but it was done deliberately as apparently several century of OCD was hard to challenge and he needed all the practice it could get.
Picking a target at random and adjusted his position slightly. Bao was drawing from a kneeling position, something that would allow the archer to be a smaller target themselves. Ordinarily it would, as Bao was currently wearing a very vibrant, very out of character, Hawaiian shirt this effect was rather negated.
Satisfied with his aim and balance he loosed the arrow. Although the arrow hit the target just outside of the bullseye he swore softly as the bowstring snapped sharply against his forearm. Vampire or not that stung.
Trying to figure out what
Bao was wearing.
He gave a sharp yip when Bao snapped himself on the arm, unable to keep his distance. Loping up behind him, Amir shifted back.
"That was the newbiest mistake you could have made. Elbow out." He reached out and flicked Bao's arm exactly where he'd just snapped it with the string, prompting Bao to rotate his arm elbow-out as he'd been taught.
"Do it again."
He pressed his lips together as Amir chose to encourage the sting from the bow string.
"I am certain I could have made a more basic mistake.â€
He protested mildly, almost fondly, but while collecting and nocking another arrow. Bao may have intended this to be a casual, relaxing activity for the evening, however, when Amir chose to tutor you did as you were told.
Choosing the same target as last time aimed loosed the arrow, keeping his elbow out, came closer to the bullseye and did not get snapped by the bowstring.
"You are right, that does work better.â€
Bao said dryly all while nocking another arrow and studiously ignoring what he was wearing and how odd it must look.
There were deserts in Africa that weren't as dry as his tone.
He gave a soft humph as Bao shot again, sitting down on the ground to watch. "I'm always right when it comes to weaponry."
What he wasn't always right with, was subtlety. Since ditching Subira's Commands he had slowly found himself again, but sometimes the art of diplomacy failed him. It was a testament to Mara and Jin that he had any tact at all, though, really. The question now was... employ it? Or not?
Meh. Probably not. It was more fun that way.
"Bao, what the ever-loving fuck are you wearing that shirt for? Are you all right? Should I call someone?"
Smirking, Amir leaned back on his hands.
Bao easily echoed Amir's dry tone. However, from Bao, that was practically slapstick comedy.
Apparently sparing with Amir at least twice a week and several other conscious attempts at change were helping him find his sense of humor and possibly some sort of balance.
He didn't even bother to answer Amir's statement that he was always right when it came to weapons. Bao agreed and Amir certainly didn't need any validation on that point.
Watching his creator from the corner of his eye and understanding Amir would be staying for a bit he made five shots in extremely quick succession being certain there was no pattern to his shots. It wasn't perfect the second and third were too far from the center. He could already hear Amir saying to do it again, so he did taking the targets in a different order.
Bao winced at the extremely direct question. He couldn't say he was surprised by it, but perhaps he should have simply fallen over in an attempt to distract Amir from the obvious. It probably did not help that he was wearing this absurd tropical print but with dress pants and shoes. Granted they were loafers but he doubted they were casual enough.
"It was a gift.â€ Bao didn't bother to disguise his annoyance. "I have been told not only do I need to relax more but I need an attitude adjustment.â€
He said as he altered his position slightly.
He watched with a smirk as Bao continued to shoot, offering a word here or there as needed. When Bao answered his question about the shirt, he bit back a short laugh. There were only a couple of people he could think of who would have suggested that to Bao, along with the gift.
"So wearing a Hawaiian shirt equals relaxation? Is it working?"
He eyed Bao critically. "It doesn't really look like it's working."
Shockingly, Amir had learned plenty about relaxation since moving in with Jin and Mara. He didn't think suggesting a threesome with two feline shifters would relax Bao, though.
"Have you thought about actually doing something that pleases you? That maybe you can't force a feeling with a shirt? Go get a manicure and a hand massage or something. Unless this is actually working."
He still didn't think it was working.
He switched to an alternate kneeling draw and continued to shoot adjusting or concentration on his form or aim based on Amir's feedback.
When asked if the shirt was achieving it's apparent goal he answered shortly.
While still not exactly effusive or what most people would call emotional he was more expressive than he had been. He did not like this shirt and he had no problem letting that show even in a one word answer.
"It was an interesting idea, but I may use the garment for my next target practice.â€
The idea had been interesting, something about how he might be less stuffy if his clothes weren't so stiff and uptight. Still it had failed, although he was forced to concede he could move well in it.
"I had a manicure yesterday. A massage even.â€
He had too. Bao kept a standing appointment for a manicure. The massage was something new. Change came slowly to some people and Bao was discovering he had decidedly few hobbies.
"Sotheby's has some interesting pieces from the Qing Dynasty for auction this month.â€
Bao said with a slight shrug between shots. He hadn't been terribly impressed with the catalog although there was a vase or two and a two-tiered censer and cover that might be worth a look.
"Although I have been considering trying pizza and a beer as well.â€
He couldn't see that happening, although the thought was amusing. He nodded and hummed his agreement when Bao mentioned he'd already gotten a manicure and massage, and he smiled at the idea of the auction, because that too was right up Bao's alley.
Whoever had gotten him the shirt had a wicked sense of humor. He had several suspects in mind.
Pizza and beer was a new one. "That might be enjoyable for you," he said. "I've had both. Recently, even. I liked them."
That had been new to Amir. For the longest time, he hadn't bothered to eat. With Mara cooking, though, the aromas in their house had admittedly been appealing. It was hard to say no. And, to his surprise, he had liked the pizza she'd made, a little rectangular artisan-type thing that she had sworn would change his mind about trying things for.
She'd been right.
"But the venue matters too. Would you rather have pizza and beer somewhere public, or private?"
Getting to the bottom of what would make Bao relax was... interesting. But at least Bao was trying. In his way.
"I would hate to dishonor my tailor in such a manner cha.[/I]
The pronouncement that Amir had not only tried but liked pizza caused Bao to miss his target... not entirely but noticeably although he didn't snap his arm with the bow string again. His maker was clearly doing better in these matters than he was.
Bao had been half kidding. It was an idea he had picked up from listening to other people. It seemed to be a fairly popular way to unwind. Amir would know he rarely ate other than to promote the illusion that he was human. And other than Turkish coffee he didn't drink much either.
"There is an etiquette for such things?â€
He asked somewhat incredulously. This was a new idea to Bao. Certainly there was a social convention and certain rules for everything but he'd never over heard any one mentioning these.
Surely Bao had been to a sports bar or something like it in his life. Even Amir had, and that was without caring what the actual food was. He hadn't expected to have to coach Bao on the basics of food consumption. He could have sworn they'd covered that centuries ago.
He tilted his head, considering. "What do you want to try, Bao, for relaxation? We can try it. Maybe pizza and beer is a bit too advanced. We could maybe do a burger and fries with a shake first."
Nothing like taking your moody teenaged son to a burger joint for 'bonding time.' It wasn't like they hadn't played that game in the past.
"Maybe food in general is too advanced. You could try... I don't know. Sitting on a swing for a few minutes. Just to try it out."
This conversation was so bizarre to him that even he wasn't sure anymore where the sarcasm stopped and the sincerity began. It wasn't lost on him, either, that he was actually almost out of his depth here if Mara and Jin hadn't collectively helped him figure himself out over the past few years. This was still very much a 'blind leading the partially-sighted' scenario.
Something about a shake was rather repugnant to Bao, perhaps it was the half melted ice cream and potential for a huge mess, regardless he decided not to pursue that option at all. Maybe food was too advanced, although it had to be more tasteful, no pun intended, than this shirt.
Bao considered the idea of the swing and decided that was simply far too childlike. There were absolutely no circumstances under which he would be asking Amir to push him, but, oddly enough the idea had some merit.
"Perhaps I will start with the slide instead.â€
"Okay then. Let's go. There's that big playground near the park and preserve."
He stood up and brushed a leaf off of his jeans. He eyed Bao again. "I don't suppose you own jeans. Or a pair of sneakers. Maybe that should be our first stop. Those are sort of crucial. Plus they'd make that shirt look, well... probably not."
He should call Jin and Mara. Not because they'd have a good laugh (which maybe they would, later, in private), but because they had no trouble, either of them, connecting to something inside that was light-hearted and fun. He had no problem imagining them romping on a playground.
(ooc: Feel free to out them if you like - Amir is totally serious about taking Bao clothes shopping and then to the playground )
As he stood Bao took one final shot, a perfect bullseye, and then looked down at his clothing and then at Amir.
"I do not own jeans, shorts, tee shirts, casual socks or any kind of athletic or open toed footwear. I do own one comfy sweater.â€
That too had been a gift, but a far more acceptable one. However, other than the sweater, while Bao's wardrobe was extensive, it was varying degrees of formal and business related.
He did make the off of a suit that was several seasons out of date, but was told that was not appropriate. Apparently they would be expanding his wardrobe and his horizons this evening.
((OOC... lord Bao in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans?!... Er...both out with permission))