[size=9]((The other character included in this post is Sai
.))[/size]Fallon had been waiting in the tavern for close to an hour, but that was her own fault. She had come early to work on her nerves, to steel herself for what she knew was going to be much more than just an awkward meeting; this was going to be an awkward meeting on top of asking someone she hadn?t seen, let alone spoken to, in months for help. Someone who she had run away from. Someone who's heart she had broken.
Oh yeah, this was going to be nerve-wracking. Butterflies galore.
The Irish woman huffed a breath, sending a fall of too-blonde strands flying as she lifted her bottle, setting lips to mouth to take a slow and purposeful sip. She'd hoped that the booze would help settle her stomach and cauterize her nerves, even though she had very little faith that it would. A glance toward the door as she heard it open sent that tiny bit of faith flying as in walked the cowboy, hat-topped head dipping low to gain him access before he straightened up, his eyes already scanning the heavily-patroned room.
A lift of one hand gave the cowboy acknowledgement, as well as let him know where she was; sidled up in a far-off booth with the curtains, for the time being, drawn back. She readjusted herself in her seat as he made his way over, lifting up her eyes just as he approached. ?Hey,? was the near-whisper. It was the only kind of greeting she could think to give.
?Hey,? was his response, much thicker and lower than her own. The Gunslinger lowered himself down onto the bench across from her, a hand lifting to tip his hat, but not remove it, as a waitress came over to deliver a fresh beer. He offered a nod to Fallon as he went about snapping free the cap, lifting it slightly in her direction before taking a long, slow sip. When the glass clinked quietly back against the wooden surface and his eyes were eerily steady upon her, the silence was near unbearable and it caused Fallon to shift in her seat.
She gave a little cough, both hands coming to wrap around the body of her own drink. ?So, how have you been, Sai?? It was all she could of think to say, not sure how to go diving right into the reason she had asked him here. She couldn?t bring her eyes full up to meet him, the peeling label of her beer bottle being just that much more interesting.
?I?ve been alright. Better than you, I be thinkin?.? The cowboy leaned forward in his seat, sleeve-covered forearms coming to rest on the worn surface between them while hands circled around in front of his bottle, one resting over the fist of the other. ?What?s got you askin? for me, Fal? You ain't sent me word since January and that bein' before you even came here. Now I know it ain?t just ?cause you miss me so, what?s goin? on? What?s got you bothered enough to want to see my face again??
Fallon frowned. So much for pleasantries. Always straight-forward, always to the point. She had almost forgotten how the Gunslinger was, how he could see always straight through her. She took a deep breath, one almost too big for the size of her lungs, and let it out in a hurried sigh. ?It?s Kingsley, Sai. She... She?s goin? to be needin? you again, and real soon. I don?t know exactly what it is but Quill?s thinkin? that it?s somethin? bad, like the last time. She?s worried that it?s Malachi... The one that got away that time--?
?I remember who Malachi is, Fal.? Sai scowled, eyes narrowing coldly. He liked being reminded of failures as little as the next man and this one was an extra sore spot.
Fallon swallowed, watching her own fingers as she fiddled with the peeling label. ?Even still... Quill?s pretty convinced that it?s at least him, maybe a few others, comin? ?round to find Kings. She's worried that somethin?s happenin? to her, that whatever?s inside of her is gettin? too big... Especially now that she?s with that boy.?
?Toby.? He remembered the name, nodding slowly as he recalled that first and only meeting he had had with the other man. ?Orange-haired kid. Didn?t seem half bad when I met him, and I ain?t so bad with first impressions.? Gradually, he leaned back, listening to the creak of the old leather as it moaned in resistance to his weight. ?She?s real taken with him, ain?t she?? Little did he know how obvious that statement was.
Fallon nodded, watching as she turned the tinted vessel around and around in place. She had yet to look up at Sai, save for a flick or two, and she still wasn?t quite ready to take the plunge. ?She?s been stayin? with him at a church he works at. When Quill talked to him, he told her that it was probably the safest place Kings could be. I guess he was pretty convincin? 'cause Quill ended up agreein? with him.?
?Quill talked to him?? Both of the cowboy?s eyebrows went up. ?He must be the real deal.? Up went his bottle and down went a couple of gulps of still-chilled beer. Again, Fallon nodded.
?It?s him and another friend, a little Japanese girl that?s apparently more than she seems. Kings is very attached to the both of them. Quill caught her sneakin? out of the house to see them and, evidently, she had been doin? it for weeks. But it?s this boy...?
Finally strange blues rose up, finding the ever-steady stare of the frighteningly pure ones bearing down at her. No matter how long they had known one another and no matter how much they had been through, heaven or hell, Fallon had never gotten used to being under that unwavering gaze. If there was anything in the world that could unsettle her, this was it. But, for Kingsley?s sake, she pursed her lips and forced down the urge to look away, keeping her marred eyes locked on the clarity of his. ?Quill thinks it?s got somethin? to do with the way that Kings feels about him.? In other words: Kingsley was in love. And who other than Quill to think that love could be a dangerous thing? The sad part was that, in this case, she wasn?t the only one.
Fallon could feel her heart rate step up a notch as memories of passion, love, demons, bullet wounds, and other horrible things came clawing at the thin surface of her control. Fear was quick to accompany them when the idea of Kingsley and her fire-haired enduring those very same experiences came to mind. It made Fallon feel sick to her stomach.
?Hmm...? That hum was the only sound that came from the Gunslinger for a good long while as he sat there thinking about what Fallon had just said. He wasn?t the kind of guy that looked off in the distance to mull thoughts over; he much preferred to look at something that intrigued him, something that had his interest. This is why he kept on staring at the woman sitting across from him, as vaguely aware of those reasons as she very well was. Eventually, he lifted his drink, downing the rest of its contents and sliding the empty bottle toward the edge of the table. ?I?ve still got some friends in the area. They may know something? ?bout what to do or at least know where we can get some more help." A thumb came up to wipe at his bottom lip. "Tell Quill to keep on researchin? like she does. She?s bound to find somethin? in the libraries here. They?re ancient.? And, God knows, he knew. ?You work with whatever connections I know you've got and, in the meantime, I?ll do what I can to make sure nothin? finds Kings before we?re ready for ?em to.? And with that, he started to get up from his seat.
?Isaiah, wait--? The Irish woman had spoken before she could think not to, reaching out just enough to touch the back of one of his hands.
?Don?t,? he said, the recoil of his limb instant but minute and yet its meaning as clear as day. He looked down at the blonde woman, at her pleading eyes complete with that one scarring mar, and the aftermath of his name coming from her lips hit like a fervent sting. But because of her look, because of those eyes, his initial anger was muted down to mere kindling. ?Fallon... don?t.? He took a single step away, furthering himself from the booth, and from her. ?I?ll see what I can do for Kingsley and I?ll let you know what else I can do. Until then...? He turned around, his head lowering so that the shadow of his hat?s brim would shield the direction of his eyes; a good thing, too, since he, for the first time, couldn?t bare to look at her. He wouldn't admit it but the ache (he would never admit that it was pain) was just too much to bear. ?I?ll be seein? you ?round, Fal.? And with that, the Gunslinger went to the door and stepped out, leaving Fallon to let out a deep sigh that had what felt like the weight of the world falling down upon her shoulders.
[color=#330033:fd3ee1898e]"And with these hands, they become my own."[/color:fd3ee1898e]