remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:02 pm

"Judged more? How could you be?" Alfred kept a warm hand resting comfortably on Arthur's shoulder as they spoke, as if physical contact alone would help them reach an agreement more quickly. He understood where Arthur was coming from, but he would like to think the best of Kiku and the others. Once they saw for themselves how much Arthur had changed, they would have no reason to doubt him. It would just take a little more time is all. "I'll just tell them the truth. That you are out investigating a crime and you will be back soon. How could they possibly judge you for that?" Alfred was completely confident that no one could assume the worst of Arthur should he choose to leave and investigate, but his next point was enough to stump the young sheriff.

"Well..." Damn, Arthur made a good point. If he found something to go off of, what would be the smartest course of action? Obviously they didn't want to let the trail grow cold and lose any chance of every finding Francis (that is, if he has really been kidnapped). But on the same token, Alfred didn't want to have Arthur face a group of criminals on his own. "I don't know." He finally admitted, looking sheepish. "I guess that would be the time to use your best judgement. If you think it could be dangerous, you should send word to me and we will go investigating together. But, if you do find something that suggests Francis walked on his own and you feel up to handling it, there is no need to call me back." Even as he was saying it, he felt that this plan was simplistic and held too much open to chance. But he honestly didn't know what else to do. Staying here simply wasn't an option if they wanted results. Still, he wasn't comfortable with the idea of sending Arthur out on his own like that -- even if it would give him the chance to mend whatever had happened between him and the others.

"Perhaps I should be the one to go...."

((Exactly lol))
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:27 pm

"It doesn't matter if you tell them the truth or not, they'll still judge." Arthur said resting his hand on the one Alfred placed on his shoulder. "I'm investigating Francis Bonnefoy's 'disappearance,' a man who isn't going about changing his ways by completely stopping." He made a bit of a thoughtful face, he didn't even know what he was going to do if Francis was on a heist or something. "For all they know, Francis sent Matthew," He held up a hand to stop any possible interruption form the other, "to inform me of a job and I'm going right back to my old ways." Arthur knew for sure he wasn't doing that at all. Alfred would flat out shot Francis if he got Matthew tangled up in something illegal, and Arthur would be knocking sense into all of them while attempting to make sure they didn't kill each other. Or at least that's what he figured would happen if something like that were to happen.

Arthur watched the younger man as he clearly thought about what he said should he find something. Hopefully it won't be something too dramatic and he could send word to Alfred, or it was something he could handle on his own. There was a feeling in his gut that told him if Arthur did need Alfred Kiku, Ludwig, or Feli, would in turn had the same feels they had towards Arthur, towards Alfred. He couldn't live with himself if he made something like that happened.

"NO!" Arthur snapped the moment Alfred's words about going instead hit his head. Arthur coughed a bit when he realized he had said it slightly to loud and fast. "Alfred, I am basically one misunderstanding away from conflict with them." Arthur whispered hurriedly. If he stayed in town he didn't feel like he could guarantee Alfred would return to beautiful friendship between the four of them. "Look, if something comes up, I'll figure out what to do and I'll send word no matter what." Arthur said softly. "Besides, I might think before I jump into something I think I can handle." He smiled a bit at his teasing.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:05 pm

Alfred nearly choked on his own spit when Arthur explained what kind of misconceptions this situation could mean for them. Matthew, his sweet, kind brother, involved in criminal activities? It simply wasn't conceivable! Sure he had a thing going with Francis (goodness knows why), but that didn't mean anything. No one in their right mind could possibly assume anything different! Right? But even in his thoughts, Alfred could not convince himself that all was well. Now that Arthur mentioned in, he could see how someone could jump to such a conclusion -- especially given Arthur's and Francis's colorful pasts. He groaned in frustration and inwardly cursed the Frenchman for making their lives even more complicated. "Alright, I see your point. I'll just say that your investigating a lead somewhere else. I won't mention Francis at all." That could work. Even with Matthew around, he doubted that Kiku and the others were exceptionally well informed about his brothers personal life to know about his relationship with a former criminal.

Arthur's sudden cry made Alfred jump in surprise. He had expected a negative reaction, but nothing so intense. He bit his lip as he considered Arthur's proposal. Out of all the available options, it made the most sense out of any. Still, he did not like the idea of leaving Arthur on his own to deal with this. "Perhaps take Matthew with you?" He said, sounding just as unsure as before. Matthew was not in the most stable states, but if he was with Arthur, at least they would be able to look after one another. And, should something happen, one of them at least should be able to send word to him for help. The more he thought about it, the more sense it made. With Matthew gone, Kiku and the others would never have to know that he was there in the first place. Plus a little extra security for Arthur would set him at ease with the separation. "I think it would be best. It's his home you'll be going to and he'll know how things are supposed to look. And if something were to happen, you have each other to rely on."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:41 am

Arthur nodded as Alfred talked. He had, in a way, been planning on taking Matthew with him. It wouldn't look like he was up to no good if Matthew accompanied him to his house. "I think we should leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow then." Arthur said with a bit of a sad grin. Hopefully the others won't be too awake at the time, just sort of shuffling around and thinking about getting breakfast if they were up. The townspeople would for sure be asleep, or for the most part they were staying inside their houses. Annoyingly though, that meant they would have to wake up when it was still dark out and prepare everything.

"Don't worry, I'll like after Matthew." Arthur said, even though he knew Alfred knew that. "Hopefully its nothing I have to shot the frog for doing." He grinned. "We should probably get to sleep if we have to be up before the sun even comes up." Arthur grumbled.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:28 pm

Alfred wasn't sure whether he felt relieved or even more drained when the decision was finally made. He had gotten what he had been hoping to achieve, but at what cost? Even with Matthew gone and a lie in place to cover Arthur's real mission, goodness knows how the others would view his absence. Plus there was no guarantee that Arthur would safe. And with Matthew thrown into the mix... it all felt like a big mess to be perfectly honest. What else could be done though? For Matthew's sake, their first priority was to locate Francis and bring him home. While Arthur and Matthew went to see what they could dig up about the Frenchman, he would see about smoothing out the misunderstanding between Arthur and the others. It wasn't a perfect plan, but it was the best they could do given the circumstances.

"I know you will Arthur." He smiled and leaned in, bringing their lips together in a sweet, sad kiss. "I know you'll do what's right and everything will work out. But you're right, we should rest." He took Arthur by the hand and slowly walked back to their bedroom, already dreading the idea of waking up only to be parted from him. It all would be fine, he reminded himself silently. It was only for a couple of days at the most and everything would go back to normal.

It wouldn't be until later that he would realize just how wrong he was.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Sometimes the world just seemed like a cruel place. The moment he's able to start efficiently work with Alfred again, something tears them a part. Arthur almost wonders if he should just accept the fact that their love story was tragic, happy but the future wouldn't always be a such. He returned the kiss Alfred gave him, gripping the man tightly, trying to sum up what he couldn't say with the kiss. He let Alfred lead him back to their room, his only words to Matthew was that they were leaving a the crack of dawn, and he quickly got ready for bed.

He had a feeling he wasn't going to sleep very well. His mind was already spinning as he really wondered what in the world he would do if it came really came done to it. Like if he had every option he could ever make at his finger tips he might not act rashly. Arthur was a bit annoyed with himself, why couldn't he just rest and think about it when it came time. He sighed to himself a bit and settled down to sleep.

It was going to be a long day come tomorrow.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:25 am

Alfred could read the distress on Arthur's face as easily as one might read a page out of a book. He wanted to gather the other man into his arms and hold him until the world stopped turning, if only to assure him that everything would be alright. But that was impossible. Their quiet little life together had been turned on its head. If they were ever going to go back to that life of content, they needed to brave the coming storm. The young sheriff only wished he better understood what it was they were going up against. He lay down beside Arthur, gently pulling into his arms like he did every night. He gently placed a kiss against Arthur's brow as if all his hopes and fears could be condensed into that one simple action. If only there was another way.

Morning came sooner than he could have ever imagined. He awoke feeling no more rested then he did when they went to sleep. In those early hours of the morn, he helped Matthew and Arthur prepare. "Will you be alright riding together? We can find another horse for Matthew." Alfred hung uselessly by the door, unsure of how else to help. It wasn't too late to call this whole affair off, but the hopeful light within Matthew's eyes was so fragile, he was afraid to dampen it. With a sigh, he pushed off against the wood of the door and handed Arthur his hat. "You know the trails to take." His eyes flickered down to the revolver Arthur always carried. "Keep a sharp eye. Just in case."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:01 pm

Arthur felt like he hadn't even gotten a week of sleep. Every possibility of what could happen and ran through his head, and even if he had gotten sleep it probably wasn't the most restful. But the time come to leave, Arthur didn't really feel like calling it morning seeing as how the sun had hardly touched the sky. The stares were still out and the air was still cold, a nice cool temperature that took him back to London for a few moments. Victoria was happy to be out early, happily trotting about when Arthur let her to the inn to load her up. He made sure the reigns were tight as Matthew seemed to make sure the supplies were tied on as tight as they could.

He tugged at the saddle strap on last time before he turned to Alfred. "Victoria can handle us both, it will be fine." Arthur said with a small smile. Alfred looked like he wanted to do something but couldn't figure out what would be the best thing to do. He watched the younger man push off from the door, taking his hand from his hands. Again he spared a smile, he really wished it would be easier than this. Arthur nodded in reply, noticing where the American looked. "I know the trail, Matthew knows the trail, trust me we won't get lost going there." It was the coming back part Arthur was a little worried out, or what might happen once they get there. Arthur clapped Alfred on his forearms, being more of a friend then a lover in cause someone was up and saw them. "It's loaded, and I got extra bullets. I'll be fine Alfred, we'll be fine. I always keep a sharp look out."

He turned with that, wishing he could kiss Alfred like it was the last time he would see him. Anything they did in their daily lives could be a the last time they ever see each other, but they were actually parting. Arthur quickly climbed up onto Victoria's back, lending a hand to Matthew as he got on as well.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:12 pm

Watching Arthur go was one of the most difficult things he had ever experienced. Alfred was suddenly brought back to a time that seemed so long ago, when he was sitting alone in the dark and the weight of the world crushed down upon him. He had believed Arthur was dead and those moments they had shared together in his old home were the last memories he would ever make with his beloved. Now as he watched Arthur help his brother onto Victoria's back, he couldn't help but wonder if this would be the last time he saw him. It seemed so wrong to remember how only a few weeks ago, their lives together were comfortable and relatively safe. Now, it seemed like everything was falling apart around them and the future unknown and frightening. Alfred wanted so badly to believe that everything truly would be alright. He wanted to believe that Arthur would make it back home to him and their life would continue on just as happily as it did before. But, the fact remained, that he simply could not. His heart was aching in a way that told him all he needed to know. What happened next would be trying for them both. And the sheriff did not know whether or not they would make it out completely unscathed.

Which was exactly why he couldn't simply leave it at that.

"Arthur!" Alfred ran over and grabbed the Englishman by the hand, just before he went to give Victoria the signal to move. "Just in case something happens and you can't reach me... there are contacts everywhere." It had been a while since they had spoken of Ivan, but he knew Arthur would catch on. Despite giving up his empire, the Russian man had contacts all over the west. These individuals were loyal to Ivan alone and were trustworthy. Most importantly, this group of men and women were discrete and have managed to lead normal lives after Yao's stronghold broke apart. Alfred knew that if either him or Arthur needed help, these people would be glad to provide it. He gave Arthur another smile and bent down. Quick as he could, he pressed a warm kiss against Arthur's hand. "I love you..." He whispered against the warm skin. Then, he pulled away again. They could avoid it no longer. Arthur must go before someone were to find them.

"Goodbye."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:27 am

Matthew slide onto Victoria smoothly, which Arthur was glad of. Victoria was not the happiest about the weight on her back, but she didn't seem to be complaining too much about it, seeing as how she wasn't being uncooperative. She shifted about as Matthew adjusted and made himself comfortable on the saddle. Arthur patted her neck and hushed her, happy she stopped under his touch and just snorted a bit in protest. He grinned a bit before turning to Matthew to see if he was settled. He didn't want to look at Alfred, because he knew he didn't want the last sight of him to be the most likely sad state he was in at the moment. If this was the last time they saw each other, Arthur would much rather remember Alfred happy than sad. Matthew give him a nod that he was settled and Arthur turned to take the reigns.

He was started but Alfred's outburst, turning to look at him when he felt the other on his hand. He blinked down at Alfred, confused for a second as to what the American was saying. However then it clicked. Ivan had people all over the place, just ordinary people now for the most part, and if he had a message for Alfred it would spread like wild fire to Alfred. It wasn't something Arthur was jumping to use, just like his own criminal contacts. Still he knew he could trust Ivan's left overs well enough, and probably more than someone his might have double crossed on a job. He just sort of nodded in reply, because he would use them if push came to shove, he would do a lot of thing if it came to that. "I love you too." Arthur said with a smile as he squeezed Alfred's hand back in place the kiss he couldn't.

He watched as Alfred backed away before turning to the sky which was just starting to brighten as the sun was started to near the day. He grabbed Victoria's reins, and gave a small sort of salute as a wave goodbye. He nudged Victoria onward, urging her to trot into the distance quickly. She did so happily. Arthur felt Matthew turn around a wave, but Arthur just tried to stay focused on the road ahead of them.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:21 pm

A day and a half had passed without Arthur.

Alfred had kept his word and had fed Kiku and the others the cover story he and Arthur had agreed on, but he wasn't sure how convinced his new partners were by it. Still, no one said anything more about it, for which Alfred was grateful. Instead, he and the other men worked out a system of patrol along with time slots that would equally divide the duties so no one person was constantly on call for any trouble that may come up. It had been a surprisingly productive day. Ludwig and Kiku were exceptionally well organized and obviously knew how to work out a worthwhile system. As much as Alfred did not want to admit it, he felt a bit foolish compared to them. He and Arthur had been running this town for months already and had never thought to organize themselves in such a concise way. It wasn't often that his confidence was so easily bruised, but there it was.

He wished there was some way to communicate with Arthur, to know what was going on and if they had found anything. But to send out a letter would take a day to receive and another whole day to get a response back to him, perhaps even longer. All he could do now was wait and pray for their safe return.

((Sorry it's so short! I wasn't quite sure what to do!))
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:17 pm

The ride only took about a days ride.

Considering Matthew and him stopped to stretch their legs and eat, as well as to allow Victoria to rest a bit, Arthur felt like they still made good time. They came up to Matthew's house only a few hours after the sunset. Arthur checked Victoria into the stable in the town, before both him and Matthew headed into the house. "You didn't touch or move anything?" Arthur asked Matthew on the porch, he just had to make sure. Matthew shook his head, "No, I came right away when Francis was gone." Arthur smiled before entering the house.

Despite the late hour, Arthur didn't see the point of sleeping right away, when he could see what he could and then determine the action needed. He quickly worked though the house, scanning everything, looking from the smallest thing. However, the luck of daylight made it difficult for him to really see if there was something Francis left behind. Francis, like most criminals, used a code to communicate with each other in simple placement of things. Arthur could spot it anywhere, most of it was warnings or calls for help or assistance in a crime. It was something Matthew would miss, or take as normal. Of course it would be a message from Francis, but Arthur was frustrated he couldn't see anything. He suggested the sleep and look at the house with new eyes in the morning.

The morning was lightly more revealing. There was very simple things, the could speak volumes to Arthur if he could find others to help with the continence. Some of the alcohol bottles were rearranged in a manner Francis would never agree too. A pair of boots were at least a few centimeters apart instead of touching. One of the chairs at the dinning room table was slightly shifted too much to the left. It all added up to something being very wrong, Arthur just didn't know what exactly it was. However, he knew one thing Francis went willingly to keep Matthew safe, Arthur figured that part.

Matthew knew something was wrong, and Arthur could tell he wasn't sure he wanted to know what Arthur was getting from the room. Arthur wished there was something to tell him exactly what Francis got tangled up in, so Arthur could correctly determine what to do about finding him. He sighed, running his hand through his hair. "Is everything okay, Arthur?"

Arthur made a sound before actually answering Matthew. "It's not good, whatever it was. Francis never rearranges alcohol bottles unless something is horrible wrong. He went willingly to whatever it was, the boots were apart a few centimeters, so we can probably assume he's alive." Arthur paused, looking at the chair that was slightly too the left. Chairs were a code they used often, and there were a lot of different means. Of course they were also the hardest ones to read, because it could be done on accident, or have been moved and be a completely different message. Arthur isn't sure if it is a message, but he's not sure he likes it very much if it is. "Does Francis always make sure the chairs line up with each other?"

Matthew nodded. "It's a ritual almost for him. Why?"

"The chair is on the end is slightly to the left." Arthur said, looking at Matthew who gave him a look like he was asking what that meant. "If I remember correctly, it means I need to get in contact with some people." Arthur said, walking over the chair and flipping it over with ease. On the underside he found a slip of paper wedged in between some of the wood. He pulled it out and rolled his eyes at the names.

"What is it?" Matthew asked.

"A list of people, Francis trusts. Either they know something, and can help me get him out of his mess, or I'm going to have the worst headache I've had in months." Arthur said, tucking the slip of paper in his pocket before he moved to collect some paper to write to Alfred. He quickly jotted down what he gathered, leaving out the list of names he found to contact. As much as he didn't want too, he could tell it was necessary. "Matthew, I need you to get this letter to Alfred as fast as possible. I don't care what method you decide to use, just get it out before sunset." Arthur instructed hurriedly as he collected a few of this things. "I'm going to go see if I can get bar keep at the Saloon to give me information about some old friends." With that Arthur hurried out the door without waiting for Matthew to say anything.

((Why to a feel like I failed at writing Matthew...))
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