"That's it, you've got it!" Joan screamed in excitement.
"I'm losing it, I…can't do it."
"Yes you can, I trust you."
Saint-Germain shook his head. "No, I don't think I can..."
"Look, you have it practically mastered."
The Comte de Saint-Germain lifted the watering can from the parched looking plant. He dipped it down, water droplets caressing the leaves.
"See, I told you," Joan boasted smugly. "You can work with plants without randomly sending them into combustion." She patted his shoulder and added, "Now you don't have an excuse for not caring for them."
"No, I guess not," He said glumly, bending over to look at the content plant. He laid his fingers along its leaves and stroked them gently...
...and they exploded.
With a sigh he turned to face Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, his wife of four years, and shrugged, wiggling his fingers in front of his face. "'Guess the 'magic touch' still eludes me after all these years," he said jokingly.
Joan let out a loud breath, shaking her head in disapproval. "Whatever am I going to do with you?"
He shrugged again, turning from the courtyard of his newly remodeled house and into the sprawling building itself.
"Still smells like Nidhogg," Joan muttered behind him. Saint-Germain shot her an annoyed look over his look and continued to the kitchen where he poured himself a tall glass of orange juice and his wife a cup of Hawaiian Kona coffee.
"To our new lives," He said, raising his glass. Joan clanged her cup against his with a smile.
"To us," she corrected. He inclined his head and drank the whole glass. Joan just sipped at hers half-heartedly.
He laid his hand on her arm and guided her to the table and they both sat down. "What troubles you, my love?"
"Just these strange dreams I'm having their so…" she paused, searching for the word, "...prophetic."
The Count opened his eyes wide in shock; this was not what he had been expecting, but he quickly recovered himself and his expression turned placid once more. "What do you mean by 'prophetic'?"
"It's just I feel like our world is going to be turned upside down. Like everything we have is going to be destroyed," her words tumbled out in an anxious rush. Saint-Germain knew she had been keeping this from him for a long time and it was a relief to finally get it of her shoulders.
"Joan," he said, lifting her chin so their eyes connected, "it is just the aftershock of what we just went through. Which reminds me…" He raised himself from the table, washing his glass out in the sink. "I have an errand to run." He walked towards the cellar stairs, his light footsteps quiet on the granite floor.
"What errand?" Joan said, sounding offended.
"We forgot about the Disir." She nodded, remembering that they had kept the two frozen Valkyries in the freezer downstairs until things settled down. But she had a dark feeling things weren't settling, they were about to be stirred up in a violent maelstrom of chaos and discord. And she feared for not only her husband's life and her own, but the whole city of Paris.
The mistake of letting Nidhogg loose on them would not be made again.
The second strike would be bigger, much bigger.
If only she knew...