Author Topic: A Gunslinger's Help  (Read 576 times)

Kingsley OConnor

  • Moderator
  • Young Wyrm
  • *
  • Posts: 97
    • View Profile
A Gunslinger's Help
« on: October 06, 2011, 05:52:08 PM »
[size=9]((The other character included in this post is Sai.))[/size]

Kingsley sat on the front steps of the church, waiting on Sai. She had made sure that no one would bother her, or that she?d be in anyone?s way. She had even made sure that Toby was gone, out on one of his delivers. She didn?t want to worry him any more than he already was. He had enough going on with trying to help Mayu.

Between her fingers, she fidgeted with the red ribbon that she had found two days ago tied around her cat, Pangur?s, neck. The texture was odd, definitely not cotton but not silken either. She had been pondering about it since that day and, she didn?t want to think about it but, the closest thing she could relate it to was that it felt oddly like leather. The idea made her frown.

The crunching of boots drew her from her swirl of thoughts and lifted her head, bright green eyes looking down the road in which the sound had come. When she spotted the tall figure of the cowboy, an instant smile broke out across her face.

?Sai!,? the little Irish girl called out, standing from her seat and starting toward the church gate, all the while tucking the bit of ribbon back into her hoodie pocket. ?Did you find the place okay?? Already, her arms were moving up to wrap around the Gunslinger?s neck in a hug.

?Yeah, I found it just fine,? he replied, folding his arms around the much smaller girl, practically swallowing her up. ?But how are you doin?, girl? I heard rumor that you were havin? a mite bit trouble seein?,? he asked, pulling away from her only to cradle her face with a hand to each cheek. He had been worried about her ever since he had heard about it, not that having the news come from her very angry older sister had made it any better. Speaking of... ?Has Quill made it over here yet? I hear that she?s mighty pissed off that somethin? that bad happened to you while stayin? here. I?m thinkin? that that Toby boy is in for an earful. ?

?I?m fine,? Kingsley replied with a shake of her head, still smiling even though part of it was swallowed up behind the cupping of his large hands. ?It was only for about a week and it wasn?t anybody?s fault. Especially Toby?s.? She brought her hands up to take his from her face, but she kept one as hers as she started pulling him through the gate and toward the church steps. ?Really, I?m fine.?

?Well, you just make sure to tell Quill that when you see her, yeah? I don?t really care to see her blastin? her guns at the boy if?n it?s for no reason at all.? The cowboy tried to hide his grimace as Kingsley drew him further toward the church. He hadn?t stepped foot near one in years, let alone in one, and he hoped against hope that she wasn?t bringing them any closer than the stairs.

She didn?t. She just brought them back to the place she had been sitting at before, reclaiming her spot even though the stone had been quick to cool and smiling up at Sai in a silent invitation for him to join her.

?So, what?s this all about, Kings?,? he asked, groaning as he set himself down on the step next to her, an arm draped across each knee. ?Granted, I ain?t seen you since that day back at the Inn and seein? you ain?t ever done nothin? but put a smile on my face. But somethin?s up, ain?t it? Somethin?s on that pretty little mind of yours.? He turned his cowboy-hatted head toward her, cerulean eyes studying her. ?So, what?s got you so worried??

Kingsley frowned. He was right, there was a specific reason she had asked him there, but now that he was she found it hard to bring the subject up. Her hands had been shoved back into her pockets, the fingers of one hand fumbling with the small strip of cloth.

?I?m worried about Quill and the others.? She didn?t want to look him in the face but the she was sure that the worried look she wore was plain to see. After a few seconds when Sai didn?t say anything, she continued, pulling out the ribbon and holding it out for him to see. ?I found this tied around Pangur?s neck the other day.?

Sai took the bit of ribbon into hand and studied it, scrunching up his eyes as he rubbed the strange fabric between two rough fingertips.

?Where?d it come from?,? he asked, never taking his eyes off the strip. He found the texture as perplexing as Kingsley did, but he was much more worldly than her. He had a myriad of things to compare it to. He didn?t like any of them.

?I don?t really know but...? The Irish girl frowned again, tucking her hand back into her pocket and pulling her hoodie around her tight. ?It reminds you of leather, doesn?t it?? When the cowboy nodded, she kept going. ?There?s was a woman, about three or four days ago. She was really mean and was botherin? Toby and me back at the Inn. She threatened us. Then she?? The memory was still fresh, his scream still clear as a bell in her head. It made her tremble inside. ?She beat on Toby. I don?t know exactly what she did to him but she hurt him a lot. Then when help arrived, she was gone.? She looked up at him, the tears brimming like crystal lakes in her eyes. ?I couldn?t see so he had made me run, to keep me safe. But afterward he told me that she had worn leather.? She glanced to the ribbon still in his hand. ?Red leather.?

Sai could feel the scowl cutting deep across his face, carving lines well-forging from years of hardships and being on the road. He didn?t need to look at Kingsley to know that she had been hurt by what had happened, be it physical or not. Her voice carried her pain like a Autumn leaf on the wind. That?s why she was such a good singer, he knew; she could convey any and all emotions with her voice, and most times without even trying.

He gave a heavy sigh after a lengthy time of silence passed between them, the only sound that of his calluses catching and scrapping at the exotic fabric.

?Is Toby alright?? It wasn?t the question Kingsley had been expecting, that was for sure, but the well-being of the boy was indeed the first concern Sai had. After Kingsley?s, of course.

?Yeah, he?s alright,? she said quietly, afterward lowering her head and tucking in her lower lip. After she nibbled on it for awhile, she looked back up at him. ?I didn?t ask him about it much because I didn?t want to make him think about it or upset him, but... I don?t think he?ll admit it, but I think it shook him up.?

?I don?t blame him,? the Gunslinger said. His eyes had taken on a far-off look even as he continued to stare at the ribbon still held captive in his hand. ?Gettin? beat on is never an easy thin?, no matter how weathered you are.? Finally, he lowered his hand, turning his gaze back over to Kingsley. ?He?s a good man, makin? you run like he did. Tells a lot about him and what he finds important.?

Important. She had heard that word just yesterday and the memory of it had her fighting hard not to blush. Even in a situation like this with this topic in hand and even without him being present, Toby could still make her feel like she had a fire burning beneath each cheek and a songbird?s heart in her chest.

?I?m not exactly sure what any of it means or who that woman is,? Sai continued, looking back to the ribbon as he held it in the palm of his hand. ?But this is plain to see as a warnin?.? Thick fingers closed around it, strangling the cloth. He looked back up to Kingsley. ?You best stay close to the church, or at least Toby. Don?t go anywhere without him.? After she nodded, he lowered his head toward her, along with his voice. ?He?s probably goin? to be needin? you just as much as you need him.? With that, he reached out a hand to give her tiny jean-clad knee a squeeze.

Then he was shifting to stand, tucking the strip of red into a pocket before adjusting the pistol at his hip. He looked down to the top of the Irish girl?s head as she stood with him and he offered her a small but friendly smirk when he saw the lift of her green eyes.

?It?s goin? to be fine, girl. Everyone?s goin? to be just fine, don?t you worry.? He gave one of her cheeks a gentle pat before curling that same hand behind her head, drawing her into him for a hug. ?I?ll look and see what I can find out about this woman you?re talkin? of, see if I can figure out some way to spook her. And I?ll stop by the house every day, make sure the others are alright. But until then,? he said as he looked down, drawing her back from him while setting his hands, heavy but warm, atop of her shoulders. ?You just keep doin? what you?re doin? and stay close to him. Alright?? When she nodded, he bent down to press a brotherly kiss to the top of her head. ?That?a girl.?

Kingsley sniffed, having been struggling with fighting back a mixture of tears and worry, and she rubbed at her eyes with the cuff of a sleeve. She managed to bring up a smile for the cowboy, though, as he began to step away.

?Thanks, Sai. You?re a savior.?

The Gunslinger paused just at the gape of the church gates, hesitating before he turned his head to the side. Not enough for her to fully see his face but only one side of it, and that was mostly shaded by the heavy dip of the hat?s brim.

?No, girl. I ain?t a savior. Just helpin? out my few good friends when I can.? He reached up a hand to his hat, tipping it slightly in her direction. Then he was walking off down the barren road, hands being shoved deep into the pockets of his coat.

Besides, he thought, that?s you.