To say he knew what her moves would be at the offer of preventative measures given with the ear plugs, he quickly stuffed his ears, and assumed the position again. This time trying to run a play in his head, he knew she would make one mistake that would cost her a fraction of time used in shutting down the movement of him running the blade across the neck. Without reacting impulsively with the idea of losing vision again, he countered by resisting the joint take down. There was a buckle, but a slam of the knife into the dummy was abrupt. Palm craned for the weapon from eye, ducking with a nimble spin to overpower with a less powerful strike; a fist to gut. Not relenting would fail her on the lesson, albeit a simple one. Trying for a leg sweep would be amateurish for him, while he continued to swipe closed fists, expecting the rage to expand than what was shown.
"Wasting time talking just cost you a life, with yours now on the line," he said through gritted teeth at the retrieval of wrist, to twist and draw closer while locking free arm against her neck. He predicted a struggle, even a thorough fight back as his hold grew stronger in the confidence of his abilities.
"Did you think about it? Wanting me dead? Could you go through with it? Could you see yourself pulling the trigger without blinking an eye?"
Replayed in his cerebral over and over again, he began to think who was actually in on the lesson. Time managed to work mysteriously from the point that unforeseen pupil left his makeshift training den. The milk crate held his weight while he sat there, knees up, arms draped across the knees while swinging a tactical knife between thumb an finger. Pinching it to resist gravity's pull. Like a reel he pointed out where he stood. Where she took the place. Where he fell by default. Where she found herself in the upper hand because he allowed it. It was the first day. Only an assessment of where her head was, where he could dig in between what drove her to meet him at the unrecognizable location. The bird wanted to sing and not for joy, but pain. Resounding in her voice at the words jumping back at him in his quietness to think.
Was his help more for himself or out of the mocking generosity out of his heart? Between Slade and the manifestation of what he was, Nathan's spirit clung to being useful for once and not appalled. She wanted the help. He extended his hand in the aide to desperation. A ripe opportunity on one hand, and something altering his conscious on the other. His uncertainty to believe at first request, had been on full display as he exposed what cards he could without questioning what he would get out of becoming teacher, as Dinah became student. It could go a few ways, and one road paved would disappear after marching through the muddied bloody trail, never returning. No one ever returned no matter how much redemption was sought after. He was the living testament to it. His fractured family was the result of it. At least someone else deserved to hold theirs together. If that was the selfless act, he would disguise any other intent around the idea, wrapping it securely in decorative packaging that didn't fit the gift.
Tip of blade began scratching through the concrete. Scraping in a tick, timing the beats per scratch like a rhythmic metronome. The sound sending peace throughout the dungy basement. Used to it's dewy scent, it drew him back to a time where he provided his services but at a cost. None the different to showing someone the way, he wasn't afraid of what would unleash but how far it would ruin a seemingly straight edged woman. The fault wouldn't lay on shoulders as the ruin took place at note of an violation. Family, self, the circles of protection meant little if sacrifice wasn't up on the chopping block. He dared to feel proud, almost happy he was stirred from an idle day. All to bear witness of a treacherous metamorphosis. Licking his bottom lip, he rose finally after lagging for an hour. Gripped by the handle, wrist snapped to toss the blade towards the nearest dry wall.
His lesson hadn't begun, including for himself in the short time left before something closed up again. He felt it. Knew by recollection, minor, that things would be no more. In the shortened time, accomplishments required expertise. He shared, had money dumped on him. Had a hand held out for nothing in return, as he would get it one way or another. For the moment longer that he paced in the dank pits of the vacant commercial building, his plans would come together as slow progress was more than none at all. One eye blinked, the other dead and hidden, took in the dank space before he grabbed his coat. Lights terminated by his departure.