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 We ain't misbehaving, @{Kate Bishop]
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The steady thrum of a bowstring being released, followed by the hiss and solid smack of arrows flying and burying their heads into targets was the orchestra of Gotham Archery. It was an indoor archery range in New York City, not someplace where Bruce Wayne tested out the Bat-Bow. You could come for classes, throw knives and axes, participate in special events, and even compete in official archery contests. Archery was a thing at Xavier's, and since it was a school filled with teens, there was always going to be a little bit of competition whenever there were multiple archers taking their shots. Arguments could, and occasionally did rise up about who really was the best shot. There were plenty of students who could make range attacks with their powers. In just his group of friends you could say that either Fia or Julian were the better shot than Ros, since they had powers that could lead something directly to the target, but then there was Johnny who was an amazing shot without having to use powers. Ros himself was no slouch when it came to shot accuracy either, with either his bow or with his powers, and was an impressive shot. Sometimes he just wanted to shoot some arrows without that competitveness that came with shooting with his peers. An official competition did have the contest aspect, but it was just about your skills with the bow, not what you could or could not do with something other than your draw, aim, and release.

If he was going to be able to participate in competitions Ros first had to take the standard safety class that the range required. Given that the building was filled with weapons that could kill, and people with varying skill levels would be touching those weapons, a mandatory safety class made perfect sense. Ros figured it would be a basic run down of the safety regulations at Gotham, telling those in tonight's class the standard things. Obvious things like not retrieving your arrows when people still had arrows to shoot, using caution when pulling out the arrows. They still might get to those things, but the class seemed to be filled with people who had no idea what was going on.

He had to listen to their instructor explain for the second time why they had to sign safety wavers when most of them didn't even have a bow yet. There was equipment that could be rented, and the fee for the class did include both the renting of the firing lanes and equipment. They did provide those that didn't bring bows with some, but first they had to sign the safety waver anyways. The class was only forty-five minutes long, and the idiots were eating away at that time. Ros could only assume that the person who had put up such a fuss didn't get that the reason why some of them had come in with bows already, like Ros did, was because they owned them.
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Maybe it was a competitive thing with Clint, maybe it was just a natural self-improvement drive. But, lately, Kate had been feeling the urge to diversify her practice a little more.

Her interest in Gotham Archery had actually started out when she was looking at places to try her hand with throwing axes. Of course she had the budget to cover buying the equipment in privately and seeing how she went by herself at the Red Hook warehouse. But it seemed far more sensible to take advantage of somewhere that could offer rentals. And she’d never been averse to taking lessons from those more practised… at least until she felt like she’d mastered all the fundamentals and inevitably started drifting into experimental solo territory. So it had gone for everything she’d learned – from competitive Aikido to police batons for work.

As a bonus, she figured she could bring her bows in for some warm up or cool down sessions, change things up to prevent getting too used to any one single range space. Although the Archer could come across as a spontaneous ‘out-of-the-box’ thinker in the field, it was only through the self-confidence that came with Kate pouring hours upon hours into obsessive regular practice in her spare time.

It turned out though, that Gotham had the same mandatory safety course for everyone wishing to register for facility use, regardless of what particular discipline their interest branched to. Muling over the possibilities, Kate decided there was no point making things hard for herself just for the hour or so it took to become a registered member, so she’d stick with the archery. But bringing out the compound bow her vigilante half used, or even anything similar, seemed a little risky.

She settled on the idea of reconnecting to the kind of target practice she’d first started learning with. As such, she arrived with one of her oldest recurve bows. Technically not all of it was the same age – the limbs had been replaced throughout her teens, to allow for her height growth and to mess about with the draw weight. It had been a gradual process as she grew more comfortable with what suited her; but nothing much had changed for the last decade. Drill holes sat fallow where she’d once fitted stabilisers, arrow rests, sights. But when it came to recurves, she liked to keep things minimal now.

The only draw back (pun intended) was having to do the induction with a really disparate range of competencies. And attitudes. Some of them were nice enough. One or two even reminded her of the Kyūdō students she’d been tutoring herself in M-Town. They signed the papers put in front of them, listened to instructions. But then there had to be that one guy… Farhad? Ferid? Something like that. She was trying not to be judgemental but he looked like the kind of yuppie her father tended to hang around with.

First off, he caused a stink about the legalities, he didn’t want to sign the code of conduct agreement or disclaimers and couldn’t even wait his turn for a pen once he’d got it through his skull that nothing would be happening without signatures. Then he had the audacity to start pestering Kate about her bow, taking one look at it and assuming she was even more of a beginner than him. She didn’t like his attitude or how much he kept inching into her personal space.

“Is it a Sage?” he asked, pointing at her bow, “Y’know if the five footer’s not long enough, you could switch it out for a Journey - same bow but longer.”

“Yeah. I know. But size isn’t everything.”

“Oh? That’s not what I heard! Like, outside the range anyways!” He laughed at his own innuendo.

Kate had to step back and physically turn away, just because she couldn’t contain the huge eyeroll she felt compelled to make. Of course she ended up meeting the gaze of one of the other inductees, and sheepishly pulled a face that she hoped implied ‘Is it just me or is this guy an ass?’
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Ros rolled his eyes in annoyance. He was still a teen for a few more weeks, so he had the right to do so a little longer. Mr. Saftey Waver had stopped his complaining only to start trying to tell people what they should be doing rather than paying attention and for some reason, trying to hit on one of the few other people who had brought their own bow. The innuendo was painful to ear as an outsider, it had to be even more so for the pour soul that had been the target of it. Ros wasn't exactly the greatest at flirting, but he was pretty sure that you didn't get to make suggestions of your sexual prowess to a lady after you insulted her choices. Ros inserted himself between the two, using the length of his longbow to wedge some extra space between him and the lady. When he had gotten Mr. Safety Waver to step to the side Ros shuffled a bit closer to him, making sure that the lady had her own personal bubble back in tact.
"You call that a bow? Now this is a bow," Ros said, not to the lady who had a bow at least a foot shorter than his own, but to the guy. He even gave his bow a little bit of a wiggle and his eyebrows a waggle. Understandably Mr. Safety Waver backed away from the weirdo who self inserted himself into what they had thought was a promising conversation. Cockblocked by a teen who had about as much interest in the dating world as a baby would have in politics. Ros figured that the lady could handle herself, she certainly looked as though she knew what she was doing. If he hadn't stepped in she probably would have gotten rid of the guy on her own eventually. By stepping in maybe Ros made the guy shut up so the class could continue again.

"I don't think he knows as much as he thinks he knows," Ros said. The lady was not exactly tall, a bow's length depended upon the draw distance pf hte person holding it. You could have a bow that was as tall as you were, provided that you could physically draw the bowstring to full draw with your arm length. Ros needed a longer bow to reflect his longer limb length. He could pull a shorter bow to full draw, but it wouldn't feel as comfortable or as natural. The lady's bow was well used, something that she was comfortable with, the length made sense. Ros didn't feel a need to point out why Mr. Safety Waiver was an idiot. Doing so would be the same as what the guy had done to the lady.

"I'm Ros," he introduced himself, offering her a hand. Normally Ros would be paying close attention to any class, but at this point the instructor was just going over the different parts of the bow and the arrow. The other students were gathering closer to look at the fletchings on the arrow, and Ros gave the lady a look of "Seriously?".

Kate Bishop
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Quite the Shot
Ask Tommy, I don't know anymore
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For a moment Kate was actually a little concerned for the third party who ended up stepping in. She’d just been looking for subtle confirmation that Farhad/Ferid was being annoying - she knew she could be a little uptight sometimes and it helped to check her standards against an outside perspective now and again. She was confident enough in her ability to handle her hard boundaries, that hadn’t quite been breached.

But the other guy seemed to take it as a cue to physically wedge himself in the space she’d created. Taking yet another step back though, it was funny watching him pull a ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with a longbow against the yuppie-archer. The cop in her was half-expecting things to escalate into some kind of grunting macho debacle – blame it on dealing with too many liquored up angry young men or teenage delinquents every weekend evening shift. It’s just an archery session, you’re not on duty dummy. she scolded herself.

“I don't think he knows as much as he thinks he knows.”

“That might be what happens when you keep lumping everyone together like this.” Kate shrugged with a vague smile of agreement. “When I was a younger, summer camp used to divvy the kids up based on who’d been there however many years before but also based on a quiz sheet they gave us, like driving theory before handing over the keys to anything.” she wafted a finger around in a general gesture towards everyone assembled.

Right on cue someone who’d been mucking about with one of the bows decided to try dry firing at one of the targets still sitting fallow. Kate’s eyes went wide. She looked around but the teacher seemed to be preoccupied with, surprise surprise, Mr. Safety Waiver. Once again sinking into work-mode she took it upon herself to intervene.

“I guarantee the first thing the tutor’s going to tell you, when we get going, is not to do that. It stresses the bow limbs, de-laminates them.” Mr Dry-Fire just looked at her blankly. “Damage that makes them explode when you shoot.”

“Oh? What…? I wasn’t… uh…”

Completely uninvited, Kate grabbed the rental bow and looked closely at it. There was no sign of cracking… He hadn’t drawn the string back to its fullest potential, and it wasn’t like he’d done it with a compound, so it looked like he’d gotten away without critical damage done. “Seriously. We’re all here to just get through induction, not watch someone get into an insurance squabble about broken equipment. Or get carted off for an eye injury.”

As the lecture started, she gravitated back to the fellow archer who’d brought in his own longbow in, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Was that harsh? It was harsh wasn’t it…”

Low and behold, the first thing the staff instructor did was go over the golden rules of not wandering onto the ranges and not firing bows without arrows. Kate made a quiet ‘See?’ gesture with an upturned palm.

“I’m maybe too used to giving civilians gun safety lectures, despite the fact that I hate guns. I’m a police officer.” She added for clarification, voice lowering to try and make sure she didn’t break any newbies’ concentration – clearly they all needed to hear this.

“I'm Ros,” the longbow owner introduced himself as they ended up being left at the back of the gathered group.

“Oh!” Kate laughed, realising she’d maybe had a TMI moment with someone she didn’t even know. Easily remedied though. “I’m Kate.” She smiled, swapping the side she was holding her own bow on and shaking the hand offered to her.

The other students were gathering closer to look at the fletchings on the arrow, and Ros gave the lady a look of “Seriously?”

“C’mon, they might not take in much but it helps if they get an idea of left versus right wing dynamics. And that obnoxious yuppie guy should appreciate how size really does make a difference there… I remember it took me a while to find what worked best for me.” She reminisced. “I mostly prefer a five inch feather now.”

God, if Tommy had come with her he’d be having a field day with all the missed innuendo. There was a reason he was banned from both her archery and tai chi sessions. “I think I tend to go for stability over speed.”

The tutor looked over the gaggle of peering heads to glare at Kate and Ros, as they clearly weren’t paying that much attention. Kate stifled any kind of cheeky response with a cough, ducking her head with a “Sorry!” that she clearly didn’t actually feel all that much, before shooting a conspiratorial smile at Ros.
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"School's still fresh enough for me to be able to say there is always at least one know it all in every class," Ros said, "And they are always the ones who know the least." It was one thing to be a bit ignorant, like the person who dry shot the bow. That was exploring something new that they had been presented with out of curiosity. While bad for the bow it was a good sign that they would be an invested archer, especially since they seemed a little embarrassed to have been corrected, and took Kate's quick lecture seriously. When the golden rules were being run trough the guy nodded his head gravely when the instructor said not to shoot the bow without an arrow. The know-it-all on the other hand was puffing out his chest with false pride and an expression that was probably suppose to look like they knew all of this already, but to Ros read more of suffering from constipation. Yes, he would have to admit that he and Kate were tuning out at least a little bit at the moment. They were already familiar with these things, they should be hanging back while those who were new to this got to get closer and pick up things. Safety waiver guy was more in the dark than he cared to admit and was too firm in his opinion to realize he was just as much in need of this safety lecture as they all were.

Gun control and safety felt enough of a sidestep from their conversation that Ros was about to ask why Kate had such strong feelings on it, but it did make some sense. Guns were just one part in the evolution of ranged weapons, the descendants of bows if you thought about it. Turns out that his conversational companion was a cop, so of course gun safety was going to be something that she would be very aware of. She asked him if she had been too harsh on the guy and Ros shook his head no. It was an important lesson to be learned and she had been firm, not harsh about it. Kate gave a reason why you don't shoot a bow without an arrow. Ok so she told him off a little bit, but Ros didn't think she was too hard on the guy. Telling him that they didn't want anybody to get carted off with an eye injury sounded very familiar. Images of Santa, an elf, and the Wicked Witch of the West chorusing "You'll shoot your eye out." flooded through the young man's mind. Only Ralphie complained about that statement, but it never was about the one who said it. In the end it was a justified refrain, so much so that the kid's mind jumped to it when he got hurt. Kate had been more detailed and efficient in her mini lesson than the instructor had. Ros would bet that she was a good deal wiser than the instructor for this all around. She even gave Ros something to think about when it came to the arrows. Bow and arrow length were things that he was familiar with, unlike Mr. Safety Waiver, but he had never thought about the length of the fletchings on the arrow itself.

"I guess that would make sense with old-school arrows, but look at them. Plastic feathers with the cock fletching different from the hen ones. You can only nock it in one of two ways," Ros pointed out to Kate before falling silent and looking at their instructor like he had honestly been paying full attention the entire time. The secret to surviving high school in Syracuse was to pay just enough attention to get the most critical points without the teacher noticing you were doing something else. If you were writing notes to a friend you started when the teacher was talking and finished your sentence after they stopped talking, so that it looked like you were writing what they said. The second the instructor's attention shifted away from him and Kate, he gave her a wink.

"So if you're a cop, why come here? You clearly know what you're talking about better than anyone here, and I bet you could name like, five places with ranges off the top of your head," Ros asked as their instructor had to explain once again why the one feather was a different color, and that no, being color blind wasn't a problem. Ros couldn't help but sigh at this. The arrow the instructor was using had black and white feathers, an easy contrast unless you were blind blind. Every time the class started taking a step forwards one person, or maybe two or three had some question or objection that would get resolved if only they could hold off for a minute. What was it about weapons that when introduced to people, could turn them into mindless toddlers with a million questions and no patience? Nuya was less fanatical with his collection of Nerf guns and weapons, even when he was younger.
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Quite the Shot
Ask Tommy, I don't know anymore
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“I guess that would make sense with old-school arrows, but look at them.”

“What about them?” Kate asked, genuinely confused. Hawkish eyes flicked up to the huddle around the instructor and then back to Ros.

“Plastic feathers with the cock fletching different from the hen ones. You can only nock it in one of two ways,” Ros pointed out to Kate before falling silent and looking at their instructor like he had honestly been paying full attention the entire time.

Kate likewise waited for the quiet pause to pass, feigning a respectful focus until the staff member had to go back to answering questions from the crowd. But actually she was far more interested in rambling at the other more seasoned attendee.

“Yeah, but the colour difference still helps in certain situations, plastic or not. Like okay it mostly doesn’t matter, but what about with rests and sights? ‘Cause I imagine a lot of the beginners here would probably end up wanting them… On drop aways or whisker biscuits - if there’s clearance problems with the riser then you need two vanes facing it. It’s just easier to have the index vane marked odd-one-out for that.” She refused to call it a cock vane.

“Or like on a two prong rest, they’d need one vane going between the prongs. On long bows and recurves you have the hens facing the riser too, so it makes the visuals quicker to match up. Especially if you’re taking several shots in quick succession – makes it one less thing your brain has to consciously think about; but they won’t know that yet.”

And then Kate realised she was getting a bit too geeky for her own good again. She ducked her head, shaking it as she laughed quietly at herself. Another pause to sneak under the instructor’s radar and then she side-glanced towards Ros again.

The second the instructor's attention shifted away from him and Kate, he gave her a wink. “So if you're a cop, why come here? You clearly know what you're talking about better than anyone here, and I bet you could name like, five places with ranges off the top of your head.”

“Well yeah…” Kate always hesitated to give out personal information about herself. But she decided, on consideration, that it couldn’t hurt that much on this occasion. As long as she kept it vague. For instance, not blurting out that she had the Archer’s equivalent to a Batcave set up on the derelict waterfront bordering Mutant Town’s west-side…

“I live about half an hour’s drive away, but there’s nowhere I can practice there. So I don’t even keep all my gear at home. But I’ve got an extra range space in Red Hook, and that’s barely two miles from here. Then I heard this place might be doing axe throwing courses… So getting the facility induction pass seemed like a no-brainer move to start diversifying a bit from just arrows. It’s a quick enough skip over from Red Hook on my way home. And it makes more sense to see how I go on rentals before I start buying anything axe-related brand new to practice in private…” She shrugged.

She could afford to buy everything in and then promptly dump it in the trash if it didn’t suit her. She could afford to do that a dozen times over. But a. Derek Bishop had managed to raise at least one of his two heiress daughters to still respect the concept of managing money without needless waste. And b. Kate expected that her ability to learn something a little bit different and/or new would be exponentially more efficient if she at least started with some professional supervision. But pride made her averse to openly acknowledging that.

“So I’m pretty much keeping the axe throwing in mind here. But then meanwhile I kinda sold myself on the idea of bringing my regular bows in for the odd session too. I think it’s good to shake things up now and again, stops me turning into a lazy shot from being overfamiliar with one target range… What about you?”
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"Exactly!" Ros said, becoming more animated with his excitement, "It's obvious looking at them that there is a difference in the two ways that it could possibly be nocked. The modern arrow gives you a fifty-fifty chance of getting it right." There were people who shot archery at the school, and there was a little bit of chatter about what they liked in terms of bows or what they liked shooting at. The conversations usually didn't get as geeky as this one with Kate was. Terms were being used that even the teacher of this safety class wasn't tossing about as casually as Kate was. In the last year, he had been told that he needed to get a hobby because he'd been taking his lessons and training so seriously. Ros had hobbies though, only the ones who insisted that he got some were less than interested in what his reading list was, or using a bow to drive arrows into a target. Here he was finding at least one person who shared an interest in one of his hobbies and she spoke of it as enthusiastically as he would. It was refreshing to just shoot the breeze about his interests. Ros knew he could ramble on, and had apologized in the past for talking about the things that he was passionate about for more than a minute. He long ago accepted that he and his parents were unusual in their love of literature. When people spoke about novels it was always whatever the newest best seller was. Unfortunately, those often were either some political piece, a sleazy romance novel that you could tell was written to get a movie made, or yet another book "written" by James Patterson. Ros wasn't one to turn down a book if given to him, but those three types of books ranked just about as even as a cookbook but didn't have the benefit of teaching him a new recipe. They were the books everyone was willing to talk about, but to Ros, there was nothing to them worth discussing.

"I am, was, a student at Xavier's. Even when something isn't about your mutation, it descends into it. You'd be amazed at just how quickly a simple game of Connect Four can turn into who's got the better powers," Ros explained, "Sometimes you just want to shoot archery without it turning into something bigger, or to be somewhere where it isn't about a quirk in your genetic code you have no choice on." It was sadly a little risky these days to say that you were a mutant. Society was already wary of those with powers, as the world had to learn how to deal with humanity's next stage. Recent activities from a certain mutant megalomaniac made it more likely that you would be treated less kindly for saying you were a mutant. Ros didn't have any physical features to him that would reveal that he was anything other than human, and his grip on his powers was strong enough that he wasn't about to start glowing if there was a sudden jumpscare. He was lucky enough that his mutation could be revealed on his own terms, and could if he was clever about it, be done in as gentle a way as possible. The best possible way he had found to let that information slide was to do it casually as possible, leading to a topic that was less controversial.

"They host archery contests here sometimes. I won't pretend that I have a chance of even placing in them," Ros said, "But I at least can observe those who are better than me and maybe I'll pick up something that can help me improve." Not that he was really observing anything new currently. If he was going to pick up anything new tonight it wasn't going to be from the instructor. His new companion was a wealth of information. Already Ros had made a mental note to experiment with different arrow lengths at the school the next time he began shooting there. "I freeze up in front of a crowd and probably would draw differently. Still would be a good learning experience though don't you think? Crap, they're looking for volunteers to string a bow."
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Quite the Shot
Ask Tommy, I don't know anymore
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“I am, was, a student at Xavier's.”

“Oh!” Kate exclaimed. “Some of my friends studied there, before they went into full-time work.” Ten years ago her first reaction would likely have been to ask about his mutation. She’d learned since that immediately asking about peoples’ powers was pretty rude. Or at least when she wasn’t neck-deep in some dire situation, where knowing could be pertinent to survival. Idle curiosity wasn’t justification; and if it was anything exotoxic he would’ve more than likely said as much already.

“Even when something isn't about your mutation, it descends into it.” Ros continued, as if he could see her train of thought. Maybe he could, for all she knew. “You'd be amazed at just how quickly a simple game of Connect Four can turn into who's got the better powers,” Ros explained.

“Ah, yeah, it doesn’t surprise me though. Like, my dad’s a book publisher and I’ve seen way too many conversations with agents that turn into a competition about who’s got the biggest paid talent on their books. Or authors who drone on about daily word count. Wealth, work, genetics, most people can’t resist comparing whatever they sort of feel gives them a one-up over others. Lord knows I get way too competitive about targeting accuracy. Even when a part of me’s internally cringing at it.” She gave a lopsided shrug, a gesture laced with a hint of regret. She’d probably have made more friends at work if she hadn’t been so obsessed with completely destroying every attempt to best her on the firing range. And her friendship with Clint would have hit its stride a lot quicker if she hadn’t taken so long getting over the idea of him as a rival. Which was madness, given the benefit of hindsight.

“Sometimes you just want to shoot archery without it turning into something bigger, or to be somewhere where it isn't about a quirk in your genetic code you have no choice on.”

“Mm. I’d imagine with any power set, the practice you put in is still going to make a difference, no matter what you had to work with at the start, isn’t it?” Or at least she hoped that was part of the stance Xavier’s took. Otherwise, why bother making a school for mutants in the first place?

“I’m hoping my old bad habits aren’t going to rear their ugly head here. I was just looking for something chill.”

“They host archery contests here sometimes. I won't pretend that I have a chance of even placing in them,” Ros said, “But I at least can observe those who are better than me and maybe I'll pick up something that can help me improve.”

“Yeah, I figured the same for the axe-throwing course. But I might need to avoid the archery contests ‘cause, er, yeah. The whole competitive thing… Not a good look.” her lips skewed, lower jaw inching to one side.

“I freeze up in front of a crowd and probably would draw differently. Still would be a good learning experience though don't you think?”

“Oh sure. I entered tons when I was a teenager.” Kate smiled. “I didn’t like being put in my place the first few times, but man, it was good motivation to get better a whole lot quicker.”

“Crap, they're looking for volunteers to string a bow.”

“Oh god… not to sound like an ass, we’ll be here all night if he picks that ‘Mr Innuendo’ guy.” Kate muttered as an aside to Ros before raising her hand.

“Is that the bow stringer?” Kate asked when she caught the instructor’s eye, pointing at the aid sat on the table. She knew full well what it was, of course.

“Yes, well spotted.”

“Okay. So…” She slipped through the crowd, who’d been paying closer attention to the rest of the lecture, and got to work. She held a hand out to ask for the string. Comparing the loops at each end, she assessed which was the larger and hooked that over the top of the bow, the smaller loop going over the lower limb tip. After a beat of confusion, the instructor went along with it, explaining to the others that there might be no difference between either end of a string, but it never hurt to check first.

“Can I have the stringer?” Kate asked and was passed the gismo that was a little different to the ones she owned, but still easy enough to work with. She held up one end, pulling a deliberately questioning expression. “Saddle?” She wanted to try and keep a bit of an acknowledgement that this was a demonstration for everyones’ benefit, rather than a test.

The instructor nodded.

“And pocket?” At home she used stringers with two saddles, but it wasn’t exactly rocket science.

He nodded again.

Kate clipped the saddle onto the top of the bow limb, over the string, then hooked the pocket onto the bottom bow tip.

Holding the bow parallel to the floor, she gathered the loose bow string into the fingers holding the grip. She moved one foot at a time carefully onto the bright cord of the stringer then spread her stance a fraction. She’d seen Clint casually achieve the same results with one foot, but for her smaller size it was just the easier tactic to get the right tension. Once her feet were in place she let go of the bow string and pulled up. It forced the bow to curve, caught between the pressure of her arm and the stringer pinned to the floor.

“So, if you’ve never assembled a bow before, this can seem a little scary but don’t worry.” The instructor narrated. “Just be sensible about what you’re doing and remember bows are actually designed to take this pressure in order to function. But using a stringer like this ensures you aren’t warping or twisting the limbs, or invalidating the warranty on anything.”

Forcing it into a hawkish curve made it easy to bend over and push the larger bow string loop back up the limb, until it was neatly sitting in the upper limb groove. As Kate lowered it, the bow returned to its normal resting shape, pulling the string taught.

She slipped the stringer’s pocket and saddle off, handing it back to the instructor, before giving the string a few plucks to make sure it was set in place. It made a satisfying ‘twang’ sound that was music to Kate’s ears. While the instructor continued on into some waffle about the string grooves and not accidentally stringing the bow backwards, Kate slipped away, returning to her position at the back of the group next to Ros.

“Sorry, that just seemed like the quicker option.” She smiled mischievously.

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