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 13, 2011 6:14 pm

Alfred looked up to see Arthur fully dressed - a familiar, quirky smile tugging at his lips. It was a look he recognized all too well. Arthur was taking note of everything he was saying, filing it away for future reflection while simultaneously trying to convince Alfred not to worry about it himself. The young sheriff pouted, even when a pair of soft lips descended upon his own. He enjoyed the sweet kiss (as usual) but didn’t like being babied so much. He could handle work today, the stake-out aside - it was his job after all. Besides, he had an obligation that needed to be fulfilled! Arthur could not keep him away from that!

“Hey!” Alfred tried to grab for his glasses as he descended once again into a world of blurred vision. In an attempt to reclaim the frames once more, he followed after Arthur’s vague form, reaching blinding for his frames. Too late, Arthur had already placed them carefully out of reach and was gently pushing him back down onto the soft mattress. Alfred groaned, but didn't automatically push him away. “I have work though. And you shouldn’t have to do everything on your own Arthur…” He mumbled, only half fighting as the sheet was pulled over his body. For all his complaining, his exhausted body was already relaxing gratefully into the bed below him. Damn, one of these days he’s was going to have to make sure that Arthur didn’t get his way. It seemed that no matter what, he always managed to convince him to act in his favor. Jerk.

Alfred snuggled happily into the bed, his eyelids slowly closing as Arthur stepped away from the bed. “Be careful…” He mumbled sleepily, “I’ll be back in an hour…Hear that? That’s all you’re getting from me… One…” Alfred fell asleep before he could finish his sentence, snoring lightly as his mind drifted off into sweet oblivion.

((Heck yeah! *happy dance*))


Last edited by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:26 am

"As always," Arthur said with a grin as the American drifted off to sleep. Arthur quickly made his way down the stairs, sliding on his boots and heading out the door. He skipped breakfast and tea, but there was a small shop by the jail that would give him a nice meal if he asked kindly. He made sure his hat was secure on his head as he walked out into the roads for to get the day started. He hoped this integration wouldn't be long. He stopped by the small shop, greeting the woman who ran it and kindly asking is she could spare some food, since Alfred was exhausted and asleep from his stake-out. The town knew Arthur didn't have the best cooking skill. The woman grinned and nodded, and with a hearty thank you, Arthur walked to the jail.

He set up a small interrogation area, silently wishing there was someone to take some notes for him, more help was always welcomed. He glanced at the five people in the cell, some of them seemed to have dosed off. However they were startled awake but a rather stern looking man who glared at Arthur. Arthur raised an eyebrow, making a not to interrogate them last. He made note of the bandages on the man. Kiku seemed to know where to cut a man to bring them down for good, but Arthur wasn't about ready to go into the cell and help some of them out to interrogate them. None of the men looked like they were going to tell him anything, at least on the outside. "Oi, shoulder bandage, your coming with me." Arthur said pointing at a skinny man with a bandage on his shoulder and around his chest.

The man grumbled a bit, wincing as he got up, but walking to the door with ease. Arthur allowed him out and lead him to the room he had set up. He helped the man into a chair before standing on the opposite side of the table. "That's get some things straight first." Arthur hissed out. "I'm not in the mood for a long interrogation, or your little mind games. I will do everything I can to make this quick and too the point." Usually Arthur didn't mind flirting around with the dark side of him to get information, but his dark side was literally around the corner and more than willing to strangle the man before if he didn't get what he wanted. "Let's start this out simple. What's your name and who thought they could get away with starting a crime network outside our town?" Arthur said firmly but in a lighter tone.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:07 pm

Thomas White had not always aspired to be a criminal. The circumstances for his involvement within the developing crime network were complicated and he hadn’t exactly been jumping at the opportunity to join - but the pay was good. However, now that he had been caught, stabbed, shoved in a jail cell and currently facing a very angry British deputy - he couldn’t help but question his life choices. No amount of money was worth facing possible death for crimes he hadn’t wanted to commit. But out here in the west, it was kill or be killed.

He was sat down in a make-shift interrogation room, separated from the other men who had been captured. For this, he was grateful, although he would never admit it. James had the recruited men on a tight lease. Any minor slip up, anything that could potentially reveal their benefactor was seen as treason and whomever had committed that horrible crime was instantly disposed of. For the men like Thomas who had simply been seeking riches in hopes of bettering their status in society - it was a terrifying life, but not one that he could escape so easily. Even placed under the watchful gaze of the lawman was not enough to protect him from the burning gaze of the one who had hired him - his spies were everywhere. So, a decision had to be made. Either he withheld what information he had and face the wrath of the infamous Arthur Kirkland or spill everything and risk being killed for it.

“I’m not telling you shit,” Thomas said, loudly enough for the other men to hear it. No matter what happened next, he wanted the others to believe that he was fighting all the way. If they had reason to suspect any differently… it wouldn’t end up well for him. Thomas glared up at the former criminal, silently examining him. He certainly didn’t look like much. From the stories being passed around the west about Kirkland and golden boy Jones, he had expected the Brit to be taller, more intimidating. Save for his grumpy expression, he didn’t look all that threatening. How he had gotten the reputation he had, Thomas had no idea.

He leaned back against the chair and grinned, attempting to look perfectly comfortable with the situation. He had decided it wasn’t worth it to reveal what he knew to this guy - there was no way he could offer him the protection he would need as compensation. So, instead, he would just play it by ear. After all, there was no way Kirkland could get anything out of him. “Might as well just give up now. My lips are sealed Kirky.”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:39 pm

Arthur gave a snort and a fake grin, his sour mood coating them with a horrible faker look to them. "If only it was that easy." Arthur said uncrossing his arms and taking a seat across from the man. "Sadly, for you, I happen to be a rather persistent and reasonable man." The Englishman gave the man a look over, he didn't seem to be the type of man to aspire to be a criminal (if anyone did). If anything he somewhat reminded Arthur of himself, the West and money were not the best of friends, and people obviously became desperate to get anything. "Hope about we start this over. Something simple, like your name, surely you won't get in trouble for that." Arthur hoped to hit something, he knows the man is clearly saying things. His volume was too loud to be honestly not telling Arthur something, it was out of fear, he wanted the others to know what he was saying.

Arthur paused for a bit, collecting himself and what he wanted to say. "Now, before we continue, I should let you know about a deal I sometimes offer." Arthur said with a sly grin. "I know all those men won't tell me a thing, not without the twisting of some limb or whatever I actually feel like doing today, so I can offer you a rather valuable deal." Arthur rested his chin on his other hand. His mood flickers with a bit of joy as he thinks about how he usually gets information form people. Alfred never allows Arthur to hurt anyone, but Arthur screws them over in the mind department. "However, you do seem rather fixed on not telling me anything, so why should I waste my breath on telling you about it."

The Englishman shrugged and got up from the chair. "Maybe I should put you back in the cell and let you rest a bit, I'm sure the others might be a little more willing with the deal. They might actually hear out what it was about."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:34 pm

Thomas followed Arthur’s movements, suspicion clear in his eyes. What was this? He was acting like this interrogation was inconveniencing him, rather then the other way around. There is no way he could be as prominent as he was within the justice system if this is the way he went about conducting research - he would never get anything done! The golden boy Jones must have been the one doing all the real work while this asshole pretended to be a big shot. Still, he decided to humor him just a little, just to make Arthur think he was getting somewhere. “Thomas,” He said carelessly, glancing back at the door anyway least his handler burst through the door. Not that there was anything dangerous about revealing his name - it wasn’t the name he had been sworn to protect. “My name is Thomas.”

Arthur continued to speak, clearly not bothered at all by the proceeding events. In fact, he looked a bit smug. Thomas frowned and steeled his resolve not to say a word. Dying wasn’t high on his list at the moment, so he wasn’t going to crack under the pressure. He could handle anything Kirkland threw at him. “Deal?” He repeated in spite of himself, interest sufficiently sparked at the word. Were lawmen permitted to make deals with criminals? Corrupt law enforces often did, but since the fall of the last criminal empire - the very same that Kirkland had said to have played a huge part in the disassembling - that kind of broken justice came to an abrupt halt. And yet here Kirkland was, dangling an deal in front of him. Perhaps the incorruptible duo was not so perfect after all.

Thomas sat up as Arthur stood, waving off his previous offer in favor of tossing him back in his cell to rot. “Wait a minute,” He growled, eyes flashing in anger. He was offered him some form of salvation and now he was just going to take it all away? Bullshit! “I never said I wasn’t interested, but I need to know the details first.” Thomas paused and leaned back against his chair once more. After a long moment of eyeing Kirkland, he spoke “Tell me about this deal. Who knows, I could be interested.”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:27 pm

A crocked grin ripped across Arthur's face, the deal had yet to fail him. "Fine, I suppose some details wouldn't hurt." Arthur said in a slightly friendlier tone, as he eased back into his chair. He leaned closer, urging Thomas to do the same. "It's rather simple, Thomas, you tell me everything you know about your little...whatever it was...and if the information is valuable we let you free, or give you a smaller sentence depending on what you've done." This deal was rather genuine. Arthur knew the value of second chances, and he knew the hardcore criminals and the ones who just need the money, he only shared the deal with the select few he truly saw meant nothing by it. It was something he would have sprung on the moment he heard it, that was if he had ever been caught and put in jail. Alfred seemed okay with it, Arthur's judgement was hardly ever wrong and when it was, there was a world of hurt.

"Honestly, Thomas, this is something to take up. I would have taken it in a heart beat had I never meet Sheriff Jones." Arthur gave a grin. "You see taking down a criminal network can just about erase most crimes." Arthur raised an eyebrow leaving any large crime Thomas could think up about him to be erased. "It's simple, you tell me what you can, and I'll see where it can get you."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:40 pm

Thomas tried to look disinterested as Arthur sat back down, but in truth, his curiosity was getting the better of him. The lawman’s deal might prove to be more benefiting then his current situation, depending on the details. When Kirkland motioned him forward, he did so cautiously, sparing a glance behind him where the other men were being kept - least they were listening in. As the other described what was being offered, Thomas’s lips remained pressed together in a firm scowl, but his eyes told a different story. The promise of freedom was enticing for sure, but it was not enough to convince him that betrayal was the right option. After all, his life still hung in the balance.

Thomas leaned in closer, resting his hand on the side of his mouth to help muffle the sound as he spoke. “Freedom is all well in good, but I need more then that if you want me to say anything.” He looked around frantically, half expecting somebody to slip out of the shadows and end his life on the spot. The desperate man swallowed, fear now present in his face. “I want protection - as much as you can give. If they find out I told, I wouldn’t be able to get away, even if I did run. I would be killed you see. I need you to promise me protection.” Thomas gripped the table, looking up at the other man with fear in his eyes He looked ready to say more when a frantic knock on the building’s front door broke the hush over the jail.

“Mr. Jones?! Mr. Kirkland?!” A frantic sounding women called as she pounded on the door. “Somebody, open up!”

Realization suddenly washed over Thomas’s face, his fear morphing into downright terror. “No, don’t leave.” He reached forward, trying to grasp for Arthur’s shirt to keep him from standing.

“Mr. Jones, please!”

Thomas tugged at the lawmen’s shirt. “They’re going to kill me. You need to stay here.”

“Mr. Kirkland!” The pounding wouldn’t stop as the women grew more persistent. “You need to come quick! Your house has caught fire!”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:45 am

The Englishman grinned as Thomas seemed to grow interested and his fear came out. So Arthur had been right, if fear wasn't a sign of someone after a good pay, than Arthur wasn't sure what was. They could probably set up some form of protection, Alfred still kept in contact with Ivan. As much as Arthur wasn't fond of the idea it had come in handy more than once. Ivan owned a little shop close to the east coast where no one knew his name. Or if they did, Ivan could play it off easily as to have no clue. Ivan always seemed to be using help, and no one seemed to mess with him, it was the perfect place to send someone like Thomas. Arthur was about to open his mouth and inform Thomas it could be arranged when the time was right, but a loud knocking cut him off.

Arthur groaned, about to get up when Thomas grabbed his shirt. Arthur suppressed a snap as he notice the fear on the criminals face. Honestly no one was going to get him in here. His companions were looked up, and no one could enter the room without having to go past him. "Let go, no ones getting through without going through me." Arthur hissed lowly, trying to pry the man's hands away from his shirt. Then he heard why the woman was calling his attention.

His house was one fire?! Honestly by what means. He cursed loudly, finally able to free himself from Thomas' hold and rush out of the room closing the door. Arthur could careless about the house and what was in it, he was more concerned about Alfred, the man was passed out in bed. "Blood hell!" Arthur snapped as he torn open the door and narrowly avoided getting hit in the face by the woman.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am

Thomas’s hand slowly fell back on the table as Arthur raced out of the room. The sound of the door slamming closed brought him little comfort as the despair set in. No matter what he said as comfort, Thomas knew the truth. This organization was founded on the principals that all weakness was sought out and destroyed - by any means necessary. Him and his party had failed to do what they had set out to do the previous night, and although there was a chance that they might still be loyal to the cause - they were now seen as a liability. In this line of work - liabilities were not dealt with kindly.

Thomas shivered in fear, carefully pulling away from the rooms shadows. No, this couldn’t be the end. Deputy Kirkland was right, nobody could hurt him here. The others were still locked up and were ignorant of his treasonous thinking. And if anyone were to try and hurt him, they would be infiltrating a lawman’s stronghold. No matter how strong they might be, it was still a risky move to put themselves into that kind of situation just to get rid of a few loose ends. Thomas breathed a little easier, forcing himself to relax against the wooden chair. He would live to see another day yet. Kirkland would protect him least anything go wrong. He would say what he could and be sent away where he could live a normal life once more. No threats of murder, no forced jobs, no promised fees that never came - just normalcy.

Thomas squeezed his eyes shut, silently praying for normalcy as the silence stifled the interrogations room. Please let this not be the end.

* * *

The women stopped her frantic knocking when the door swung open, quickly grabbing for the deputy’s arm. “I am sorry Mr. Kirkland, but your home!” Her eyes were wide and apologetic as she shakily pointed to the line of smoke billowing out over the line of buildings that surrounded them. “The men sent me to come find you and Sheriff Jones. I don’t know what happened, all I know is the first floor is burning.” She pulled back, fiddling with her jewelry now. There was nothing else left for her to say save for another, half whispered “I’m sorry.”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:30 am

Arthur's eyes widened as he noticed the smoke. He curse, quickly diving back into the jail and grabbing the keys. Something told him this was a distraction, he wasn't about to let whoever started the fire get away with it. Nothing should have been causing a fire, at least he knew it wasn't him trying to cook something or accidentally too much wood in the stove, Arthur hadn't touched it. He raced out of the jail, quickly locking the door behind him and leaving the keys in his hand in cause this woman was a distraction as well. "Don't apologize, just see if you can get more people to help." Arthur said to the woman before bolting off to his house. Obviously if they were looking for both Alfred and Arthur, they didn't know their beloved sheriff was still in the house. With a curse Arthur ran with everything he had.

He almost didn't slow down as he weaved his way through the crowd of people surrounding the house. Some of the men and a few women were trying to stop the flames from spreading. However most of the crowd was just trying to see how everything turned out. "Deputy Kirkland, finally!" A rough voice called him, and Arthur turned to see the man who ran the Saloon a few buildings down. "Do you have any idea where Sheriff Jones is?"

"Sadly, I do." Arthur said, turning his attention back to the burning house.

"Where?" The man asked, but Arthur didn't reply and the man followed his gaze. "The Sheriff is in there?!" Arthur gave a nod, before he obviously looked like he was going to make a run for it. A strong pair of arms grabbed him, lifted him off the ground. "I'm not letting this town loose two good lawman today."

Arthur struggled in the man's hold. "I'm not letting this town loose any good lawman today." Arthur snapped.

"Your off your rocker Deputy," The man said but let him down, and shoving a piece of cloth in his hand. "The airs thick in there, and I'd reckon you don't have much time left before the second story catches fire."

The Englishman grinned and gave a nod. "Thank you." Arthur was about to turn and run into the house when he remembered something. "If you can, find Kiku Honda in one of the inns." With that Arthur raced off into the house, ignoring the shouts to stop from some of the other men who hadn't heard the previous conversation. Arthur winced at the heat, and dodged some nipping at him. He hurried up the stairs, ignoring the sound of them cracking and snapping in the fire. "Alfred! Wake your bloody arse up!" He called when he reached the top of the stairs, and covered his mouth quickly with the cloth.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:05 pm

Thomas tried not to panic when the deputy raced back inside, only to leave once more, this time for good. The fire was nothing more then a mere coincidence. Kirkland would return as soon as it was taken care of and they would continue with the interrogation. He would be set free and protected against anybody who might want to come after him. Everything would turn out for the best - there was absolutely nothing to fear. In fact, in a few minutes, he would probably be laughing at himself for being so foolish as to assume otherwise.

Maybe it was the barely restrained panic or the internal feeling that things were not as coincidental as he was deluding himself to thinking, but Thomas began to laugh. He laughed so hard he was practically sobbing. Even in his mind he realized he must look like he had lost his mind. Perhaps he had.

He wasn’t even surprised when he felt the blade press against his neck - he had suspected his fate the moment he heard the knock on the door. “P-please…” He begged through his tears, although he knew it was hopeless. This was a world of no mercy. No response was given, only the feeling of the cold metal bite against his skin. Thomas could only manage half of another ‘please’ before the blade made it’s mark. There was a sound of brief gagging, a heavy thud, and then, silence.

Thomas White was dead.

* * *

The smoke was the first thing to bring Alfred out of his heavy sleep.

He sat up, disoriented and half blind, unable to comprehend what he was experiencing. It smelled like it had when Arthur had attempted cooking for the first time, and for a brief moment, he feared that was what it was. But there was no sound of the Brit cursing loudly from downstairs. Instead, there was a strange popping sound overriding the usual hustle and bustle of the outside world. Alfred sat there for a moment, trying to place the noise within his memory before suddenly everything snapped into perspective. Fire - it was the sound of the house burning around him.

Alfred was out of the bed in a second, fumbling around uselessly for his glasses. Damnit, why had Arthur removed them? He was virtually blind without them! From down the hall, he could hear the Englishman shouting. “I’m here!” He managed to reply, despite the smoke filling his lungs. The young sheriff grasped his frames and slid them on, but found that they did not help much. The room was so thick with smoke, he could scarcely see his hand in front of his face, let alone further. He reached for the wall and carefully moved along it to find the doorframe, coughing all the way. “Arthur!” He shouted, stumbling out of the bedroom - he could feel the heat from the blaze much more intensely out here. “Arthur where are you?!”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:13 am

The sound of Arthur's voice was heaven to Arthur's ears. He thanked God that Alfred was awake, and Arthur wasn't going to have to wake him up and drag his sleep arse out whatever exit they could find. He cursed the smoke grew thicker, but he made his way towards Alfred's voice. He could just make out Alfred's figure in the smoke and he hurried forward. "I'm here, Alfred!" Arthur said over the blaze as he grabbed onto the first thing of Alfred he could. The Englishman grinned when the American's face actually came into view, forgetting about the fire for a second and just hugging him. He felt like he lost his mind, there was covered in ash, sweating, and hugging his beloved in the middle of a burning building.

A loud snap and crash sound made him come back to the reality around them. He drew away quickly and turned to the sound. "Bloody hell!" He cursed, "that was the stairs!" Honestly what was with them and fires. First all the doors are locked and no their bridge to an exit collapsed. He coughed from some of the smoke and covered his mouth again, still keeping a hold on Alfred. "What now?!" He asked, knowing their only option was to jump down into the fire, or jump out some window. Either way they would most likely be jumping.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:43 pm

“Arthur…” He breathed, stepping forward once he caught sight of the other man’s silhouette amidst the smoke and flames. Arthur said nothing as he grabbed for him and pulled him into a loving embrace. In spite of the intense heat and thick smoke, Alfred did not miss a beat. He wove his arms around Arthur’s frame and returned the embrace without question. Whatever had happened to cause this blaze, whatever had occurred previously when Alfred himself had been sleeping no longer mattered - he was simply grateful that the other was safe.

Their tender moment was shattered by the sound of a loud crash and the ground shaking beneath them. The stairs had collapsed under the intensity of the flames, leaving them trapped on the upper level without means of easy escape. Alfred covered his mouth, coughing as the smoke filled his lungs. They needed to get out of here as soon as possible, but without the stairs, they would have to think fast in order to make it out before the house collapsed. “The window,” He managed to say through his coughing, yanking Arthur back into the bedroom. It would be a bit of a jump, but it was better then the alternative.

Alfred half stumbled over to the window, shoving it open with all the might he had left. When the opening was clear, he turned to Arthur. “We’re going to need to jump.” He stuck his head out to see if there was anything in the way of obstructing their fall, but the smoke was too thick for him to tell. They were simply going to have to risk it - the house was already creaking ominously and it wouldn’t be long before it fell apart. Alfred pushed Arthur forward, coughing terribly. “Go first. Jump to your left, I’ll jump to the right.” It wasn’t much of a plan, but it was the best they could manage right now. The house gave another loud groan and Alfred frantically pushed Arthur closer to the window. “Go!”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:38 pm

"Me?!" Arthur shrieked, attempting to not be pushed closer to the window. If anything Alfred should go first, he was after all the Sheriff. Alfred had a clear record than him, and the people like him more than they liked Arthur. Besides, Arthur was clearly going to last longer seeing as how he wasn't coughing like he was going to die. The Englishman was more than ready to argue with the other, but this wasn't the time. Had it been gunmen invading their home, he would shove Alfred out the window, or argue with him endlessly about who was going first. He noticed the flames creep towards the door way, working their way up to consume the heavy top of the house. Yes, it was clearly no time for arguing and the window wasn't large enough for the two of them to jump out of. Arthur growled, before grabbing the American's face and giving him a quick but hard kiss on the lips. "You better be right behind me."

Arthur turned to the window and hurried out it. He hoped it wasn't too painful, Arthur's jumped from some high places, but usually there was some form of a cushion under him. Through all caution to the wind, and sparing on last look at Alfred through the smoke, he jumped. He did not enough it on bit, especially when he landed. Something wasn't right, a pain shot up his left leg from his ankle, and his impact with the ground left his body wishing the said was softer. He rolled onto his back, he couldn't see anything in the window, and he quickly glanced around, to find it was all rather clear. "Jump you git!" Arthur shouted.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:19 pm

Alfred could feel Arthur preparing to burst into argument mode, listing reason upon reason as to why he should be the one to go first instead. The sheriff stared pleadingly down at the older man as the house groaned under their weight. This wasn’t the time for arguing or debating. It was either act now or they both ended up dead. Thankfully, Arthur seemed to realize this too and kept his contradicting opinions to himself. Instead, he pulled the American close, pressed their lips together, and demanded that Alfred make it out as well. He smiled and gave a short, breathless “I will,” as Arthur climbed up onto the window frame.

There was only a brief hesitation before Arthur dropped out of sight through the veil of smoke and flames. He heard a thud somewhere below him followed by a somewhat pained sounding command to follow in suit. Alfred wasted no more time as he climbed through the window. He did not give himself time to reconsider as he threw himself out into the open air, falling only a short moment before he connected with the hard ground. The landing was anything but smooth, but he didn’t appear to have sustained any seriously painful injuries. Alfred rolled onto his back and coughed violently as one side of the building collapsed. There went their home - sacrificed to the forces of nature. Or perhaps not.

“Arthur…” He managed to call out, still fighting to catch his breath. He tried to sit up in hopes of clearing his line of sight enough to locate the other. “Arthur, are you…” Cough. “Alright?” Why was everything suddenly so sore? Damn that impact - damn that fire. All Alfred could hope for was that Arthur was alright and there was a very good explanation as to why their home had been burned to the ground. He parted his lips, ready to call for Arthur again when a voice interrupted him.

“Alfred!”

A pair of cool hands pressed against his back, helping him sit up as a pair of brown eyes stared down at him frantically. “Alfred-san, are you injured? What happened? Can I help?”

Alfred shook his head, although he was grateful for the support. “I’m fine,” He said, followed by a cough. “Arthur, we had to jump. He could be hurt. Help me find Arthur.” Kiku’s lips pressed together in a thin line, clearly already placing the blame for this little event on the former criminals shoulders. Still, he said nothing, but helped the American stand and shuffle over to where he had heard Arthur fall. "Arthur!"
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:50 am

Arthur waited for the sight of Alfred coming out of the window to eventually meet him, however a loud crack made him roll over at take cover. The wood of the house groaned and a snap run up the side closet to him. With a crash, the house shoved a thick layer of ash, smoke, and heat out. Arthur could hear some of the shocked gasps from the gathered crowd as half the house went down. Arthur waited a few moments before he rolled back over, finding the huge breath of smoke the house exhaled taking forever to blow away. Arthur gave a small cough as he fanned some of the smoke away. He could hear Alfred off the in the distance calling for him, however if he tried to call back he for a huge breath of smoke and a coughing fit to follow.

Groaning he sat up, the pain in his ankle had become a dull reminder, and his body was sore, but he could push past it all. After all Arthur Kirkland did not get some of his reputation for letting pain beat him. Slowly he got to his feet, only to crumple back to the ground with a hiss as his ankle shot pain up his leg. Great, he couldn't be putting weight on it for a while. He grumbled to himself, hating the fact that he could do anything until someone found him. Yes he could try to find something to help him stand up, but it would be easier with someone else. Lightly touching his ankle he hissed a bit, noticing it was just starting to bruise, he curse, that was not a good sign of everything. There was another loud crack, and Arthur cursed again, bracing himself for another breath of ash and heat. There was a similar crash and there went their house.

Eventually the smoke started to clear, he could make up figures, however only slightly. He noticed some of the townspeople skirting around the fallen house, looking like they were looking for anything to tell them their law figures were still alive.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:19 pm

Alfred stumbled back as the house fell apart, covering his mouth as a could of dust, smoke, and tiny bits of debris engulfed him. There went the home he and Arthur had built together, burnt, broken, and laying in a heap of smoldering ash. He stared it for a long moment, wondering how such a thing had come to pass. There were other forces at work, that he could figure out well enough for himself, but that didn’t stop the grief of losing their home from overwhelming him. He had no doubt that it would be replaced in due time, but he mourned the loss of the place where he and Arthur had shared some of their best memories.

“Alfred-san?”

The sheriff shook away his depressing thoughts and turned to give Kiku a small smile. “Let’s find Arthur.” Kiku simply nodded and dipped underneath Alfred’s right arm to offer him support as they slowly moved through the wreckage. All around them, townspeople were running about to survey the damage and stomping out any flames that threatened the nearby buildings. Some stopped when they caught sight of Alfred, looking relieved that their beloved sheriff was alive. He waved the ones who approached off, despite the fact that he had not escaped the blaze unscathed. In the distance, he could make out a familiar figure resting against the ground and quickened his pace. “Arthur!”

Alfred dropped down beside the other man, ignoring the fact that Kiku was still underneath his arm and was dragged down as well. The sheriff bent down, ready to pull Arthur into a hard embrace when he realized they were still in public. He silently grumbled and settled for placing his hand on the Englishman’s shoulder. “Are you alright? That fall was kind of nasty.” He silently scanned down the other’s figure, searching for any obvious signs of injuries. His eyes landed on Arthur’s left ankle, which was beginning to swell. “Oh damn…” Alfred gingerly pressed his fingertips against the bruised skin before drawing his hand away again. “Is it broken?” He asked quietly, as the townspeople began to flock around them.

Before long, a doctor was called for and the women were shuffling around to attend to the fallen deputy. Alfred wished they would all step away and leave him to speak with his injured love, but in order to keep up the illusion, he was forced to step away.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:11 pm

"Alfred!" Arthur said with a small smile, which wasn't soured at all by the sight of Kiku helping the American stand. However he did frown slightly when the American didn't hug him, or anything close to that when he saw him. The town would understand, their house had just burnt down, and the two had jumped from the second story, it didn't matter how close of friends someone was with someone else, Arthur was sure someone would embrace someone. It didn't have to be loving embrace, it could have been just a quick we-alive sort of hug. Arthur wouldn't have cared. "I'm fine Alfred," Arthur said when the other stopped talking to look him over, "it's wasn't nasty, just...higher." Arthur had hoped it would stop the American for noticing his ankle right away. However, there was no stopping the light hiss as the American brushed the bruised joint. Arthur cursed in he head, but shrugged. "I hope not."

The Englishman blushed slightly and the group of people that was forming around them and the number of people who were beginning to fuse over him. An older woman scolded him for being reckless and running into a burning building while she lightly looked over his ankle. Younger woman all seemed to want to know exactly how fine he was, and that their brothers or fathers were more than willing to help him walk should he need assistance. Arthur of course waved off their offers, Alfred could help him with it, and if anything the doctor who make him stay off it for a few days and there was most likely something stationary he could do. Occasionally he would glance at Alfred, who looked rather torn with everything, as he waited for the doctor to arrive and treat him there or take him away. Arthur silently wished it was the latter.

The doctor arrived eventually, looking a little winded, but not in the least bit unprepared. He was older than Arthur by a good ten years, but the man was very kind, slightly not use to common company, but he was a good doctor. He apologized for being late, but rather pleased to see no one was shot, or sliced up. Arthur raised an eyebrow, but the man just motioned to Kiku and Arthur understood. With a quick look over, the man ushered some men to help Arthur to his feet...foot, after he made a quick splint. The saloon owner was the first to step up, clapping Arthur hard on the shoulder and grinning. Arthur gave the man a smile back, before remembering the fact he was in the middle of an interrogation.

"Oh Alfred," Arthur said turning awkwardly to the American, "You might what to go to the jail, I have a feeling the fire was...planted." Arthur said fishing the keys out of his pocket, happy he had slide him in quickly before entering the house. He tossed them quickly to Arthur. "The man I was interrogating, might need some checking on as well, his name was Thomas, and he was a little freaked out about the timing." Arthur grinned, hoping it might be something to distract Alfred before some sent for him with news of Arthur's health. Besides Alfred was good with people, if anything he would assure Thomas was he was safe and talked about useless things. Arthur turned back and braced himself on the saloon owners shoulder, while the doctor went under his other arm and the lifted him off. A small trail of worried women following after.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:44 pm

For the millionth time since they had moved here, Alfred was grateful for the townspeople’s kindness. He watched as the saloon stepped forward to help support Arthur so the other man could be treated. It had taken some time for everyone to get used to the idea that Arthur had turned over a new leaf in favor of the side of justice - but now they more or less had accepted him as their lawman. And as an essential figure to their town’s prosperity, Arthur was respected and treated well by each and every citizen - much to Alfred’s delight.

“The jail?” Alfred easily caught the ring of keys Arthur tossed him, only just then remembering the men they had detained the previous night. Of course, Arthur must have been right in the middle of interrogations before the fire had started. He nodded to show that he understood and slipped the keys into his pocket. “I’ll head over there now. I’ll be back later to check up on you!” Hopefully Arthur’s injury wasn’t too sever and a few days rest would be enough time for him to heal. Alfred knew how much it would irritate the Englishman to being unable to do anything.

Alfred watched Arthur being carried off for a long moment, offering him a small smile before setting out to complete his task. Kiku remained faithfully by his side, something he was grateful for considering the fact that he was still rather unsteady on his feet. They made the short trek back to the jail, only having to pause twice to accommodate Alfred’s sore joints. Damn, that fall had nearly taken him out of commission as well. He was looking forward to resting once this day was over with.

Alfred unlocked the jailhouse and walked inside, Kiku following him. Arthur had said something about checking up on whomever he had been interrogation, so that’s where he decided to start. “I’ll be back in a minute Kiku. Wait out here for a bit, okay?” Alfred didn’t wait for the other man to respond, he was already heading towards the small room they used for interrogations. He put on his best smile as he pushed open the door, ready to reassure the other man that everything was fine when a familiar smell caused him to stop dead. There was no mistaking that coppery scent - it was one he knew all too well.

Alfred cautiously stepped into the small room, catching sight of a figure half slumped over the table. “Thomas?” He said, stepping closer. “Thomas, I’m Sheriff Jones. Are you alright?” Alfred paused before placing a hand on the man’s shoulder, lifting him slightly off the table. Blood trickled down from a long, horizontal neck wound, staining the edges of his shirt. As gory as the sight was, it was nothing compared to Thomas’s sightless blue eyes staring up at him, dead and expressionless. Alfred jumped back, the body once again falling against the table with a dull thud.

Somebody had been watching them - and closely too.

Alfred raced out the door and down the hallway to the cellblocks, throwing open the door with so much force that it nearly embedded itself into the wall beside him. In each of the occupied cells lay a prone figure, an ominous red liquid smearing across the walls and floors surrounding them. Dead, they were all dead. Not one had been left alive. Alfred sunk to the floor, his stomach twisting into uncomfortable knots. How could this had happened? Arthur couldn’t have been gone for the long - the fire was too fast moving. How could somebody do so much damage so quickly? And even more so, how could they have murdered five men without so much as batting an eye?

He was vaguely aware of Kiku coming in behind him, but he was far too lost within the horrors to comprehend much else. He felt the smaller man grab his arm and tug hard, trying to force him out of the room. Alfred pulled away, stepping farther in to observe the massacre. He stood there staring at the horrible sight before collapsing onto the floor, chest heaving as he emptied his stomach’s contents. Kiku came up behind him once more and this time, succeeded in pulling him away.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:06 am

Arthur didn't do much talking as the men carried him away to the doctors house. The Saloon owner did talking, mainly filling the doctor in on a what a mad man Arthur was for running into a burning building, all because Sheriff Jones had been inside. The doctor nodded and made a comment about having to check Alfred's health as well. The two men easily carried Arthur into the house and set him down on a cot, and the Saloon owner left, after being told to tell the women that had followed them to do something useful with themselves. The doctor's wife entered and gave Arthur a smile upon seeing he was rather with everything and there was no blood pouring out of an open wound. She made a comment about making something to eat before he departed and let the doctor do his work.

In his house the doctor got a better look, and he seemed more willing to touch and poke at the ankle more than he had by the burnt remains of Arthur's and Alfred's house. Arthur was polite enough to hold back his curses towards the man, but the doctor didn't like like he would have minded much. He smiled at Arthur when he was done, and Arthur was very sure he was not smiling back at the man and probably looked like he was ready to kill him. "It doesn't seem broken," the doctor said getting up from his place by Arthur's ankle to collect some supplies. "However, don't go putting any weight on." Arthur frowned, great so he was going to be useless for a while. "We'll give it a week to heal, and then you can come back and will go from there." The doctor turned around and got to work on making a better splint for Arthur. Arthur was forced to nod and accept the fact that he was going to be lazying around.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Kiku had him rest in the front room of the jailhouse as he prepared him something to settle his stomach. Alfred chose not to question the quiet man as he leaned heavily against his desk chair. Five men had been slaughtered within their cells. Whoever the culprit was had left no trace, no hint of how they got in or out so quickly. The fire had been a decoy, that much he knew, but anything else he could not be certain of.

“Drink this.”

Alfred looked up, only then realizing that Kiku had returned and was offering him a steaming mug of something. He took it and sipped it lightly, barely registering the taste. It was a tea of some sort, but it was not the kind he was used to. Still, he supposed it did help to calm his stomach some. “Thank you,” He said gratefully, taking another long sip before setting the mug aside for later. There was business to attend to and it wouldn’t wait for his stomach to settle.

“Kiku, I hate to ask more of you,” He smiled softly at the Asian man’s light headshake, “Could you please call the undertaker in here? Help him out with whatever he needs but ah… I think it would be best if we kept this quiet.” No need for the town to start worrying over nothing. After all, whoever wanted those men had achieved their goal, so there was no need to make repeat visits. Kiku nodded and silently slipped out the door, not questioning what Alfred himself would be doing. The sheriff was grateful for this and took the spare minute to recover. He was never good at handling death, but it was the guilt that was heart shattering. If he hadn’t been in that house when it caught fire, if he hadn’t asked Arthur to go interrogate them, if he hadn’t caught them at all, they might all still be alive.

Alfred shakily stood up and headed out the door, not bothering to lock up behind him. Arthur needed to know. He had been the last one to speak with the men, perhaps he had some insight as to why this heinous crime was committed.

It didn’t take long to reach the doctor’s home. The lady of the house gladly ushered him inside and had him sit in the parlor while her husband finished up with Arthur. He would have protested the short wait had he not still been in shock. So, he sat in a wooden chair by the window, staring out at the dirt street with a blank look in his eyes. Criminals he could handle any day of the week, but murder was a different story. He silently promised to those fallen men that he would find their killer and bring them to justice - no matter what it took.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:44 pm

The doctors wife came in with a comment about lunch being a few moments longer than she expected, and the fact that Alfred was waiting and the doctor could have him come in when he was done. Arthur was rather taken by surprise, it seemed rather fast for Alfred to have done what Arthur had asked. He had honestly expected the doctor to have to find someone and send them off to find Alfred. However Arthur wasn't going to complain the fact that Alfred was done quickly, he was more curious than anything.

"There, all patched up," the doctor said with a glee that made Arthur feel like he was a child.

Arthur blinked at him for a while, but than grinned back. "Ah...thank you Dr. Smith. Sorry if it troubled you."

"Nonsense, if I don't have to knock you out or stop you from bleeding, I really could careless." Dr. Smith said with grin, patting Arthur's arm, before giving an apologetic look when Arthur cringed. "Sorry. I wouldn't be surprised if you were sore tomorrow. I'll go fetch Alfred and give him a quick look over."

With that Dr. Smith left him for the parlor room. His wife entered with a hearty grin and gave Arthur some water. She commented light on his appearance, saying that someone would be drawing a bath for him tonight, before she departed because something was burning. Arthur chuckled into his cup a bit, before turning his gaze to the doorway in which the doctor had disappeared. He hoped everything was right and Alfred wasn't too much out of commission. Though he was sure the town would try to at least cover for them as much as they could.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:37 pm

Just as the lady had promised, the doctor had finished up with Arthur in only a few short minutes. He entered the parlor and gave the young sheriff a grin, motioning him to stand. He did so, only because he knew that a check-up was inevitable. Thankfully, the doctor did not seem to notice his change in demeanor, or if he did, he made no comment of it. He simply smiled and helped the unsteady man into the other room where Arthur was waiting. Alfred was sat down in a chair nearby the other lawmen, but he couldn’t bring himself to look Arthur’s way - not yet. He knew that the Englishman would immediately be able to tell that something was wrong, but he wasn’t ready to start explaining.

Mr. Smith checked over him silently, managing to locate a few cuts and bruises from the fall. After a few minutes of examination, he pulled away and flashed Alfred a smile. “You got lucky sheriff. You got away with only a few scratches. Careful though, you’re bound to be a bit sore for the next couple days.” The doctor lightly patted his shoulder, his lips pulled up in a happy grin. “Can’t say the same for Mr. Kirkland over here. He needs to stay off that ankle for a few days, so be sure not to let him work too hard there sheriff.” Alfred managed a shaky smile and a simple nod of the head to show he understood before the doctor rose to his feet. “You both need rest. I’ll have Jane bring you some water sheriff and then I’ll let you boys be on your way.” He nodded to both the men before heading out the door to fulfill his promise.

Alfred stared down at his hands. Arthur needed to know what happened at the jail. He needed to know that all those young men had died for nothing, but he couldn’t bring himself to speak. As soon as he opened his mouth to do so, he would break down in sobs and all would be lost. He couldn’t afford to show weakness now. He was a sheriff, he had an obligation to fulfill to these people to remain that figure they could always rely on. Had he still had a home, he would have asked Arthur to take him there so he could cry all he wanted, but now that was gone too. The only choice he had left was silence.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:26 pm

The moment Alfred walked into the room, Arthur knew there was something wrong with him, but he wasn't sure what. Alfred didn't seem to be his usual chatty self, and he hadn't come in sprinting as Arthur had come to expect. Arthur watched politely as Dr. Smith tended to Alfred, somewhat jealous the American was not sentenced to much rest. However, it was overshadowed by the Englishman's observation of how quiet the other man was. There didn't seem to be much talking coming from him, or even the look that he wanted to talk, but he was being respectful and quiet off in the distance. It was concerning to Arthur.

Perhaps it was shock from the events that had happened. After all, a fire come out of nowhere, almost killed them both, and the fact that they no had currently no house or cloths was weighing down on him, Arthur's ankle was no likely making anything better. Besides with his small amount of sleep, Arthur was honestly surprised by how well the man was holding up. The Englishman himself was a bit shaken, but he had been through worse for a lot longer, if he honestly was shocked it was for a rather serious reason, not that what had currently happened wasn't serious. Arthur waited politely for Dr. Smith to finish what he was doing, carefully listening to him in case Alfred didn't get it all.

Arthur let a silence sit on them for awhile, hoping that Alfred would at least do something. However the American's silence was making him more and more uneasy, it was becoming clear that it was something more than their house. Arthur bit his lip as Mrs. Smith entered the room with some water for Alfred. She didn't say anything until he left and there was a sharp order for more than two plates. "Alfred," Arthur said gently, pausing as he tried to get the other to look at him, "is everything okay?" Arthur knew everything was not okay, but he's always felt it was a start of a way to comfort people. He took one of Alfred's hands, holding it gently to be loving, yet come off as something a good friend might do. Alfred's silence was starting to bother the Englishman more with ever passing moment, Alfred was never this quite unless something was truly wrong. "Please tell me, Alfred. You're scaring me a little."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:02 pm

Alfred knew he was worrying Arthur, even without seeing his expression. He felt him slid closer to take his hand, gently asking him to reveal the source of his distress. Arthur was always so sweet when he was in pain. He never hesitated to drop his usual demeanor of rigid grumpiness to be tender when the young man needed it. But this was not some silly childish fear or dream that needed to be brushed away with a few soft words and kisses - such injustice could not be cured so easily. But Alfred needed comfort. He could never handle death well, and the memory of those lifeless bodies slumped over themselves would forever be seared into his memory.

Alfred squeezed Arthur’s hand in return, but could not bring himself to look up just yet. “I went to the jail like you asked. It was locked up and everything, but when I got inside…” A small sob managed to escape, despite his best efforts to fight it. His shoulder’s shook and tears built up behind his eyes. Those men had not been any older then him. They had deserved a second chance at life - something he had wanted to give them. Now the only thing he was good for was making sure they had a proper burial.

Going against his earlier desire to remain strong, Alfred pushed himself closer and buried his face within Arthur’s shoulder. He no longer cared who might walk in and see him; he needed comfort, he needed to feel Arthur’s arms around him, he needed to hear his voice softly telling him that everything was going to be alright, even when it wasn’t. “They’re dead. All of them.” He managed to say, only half suppressing a wave of tears. He couldn’t cry out in a public like this - that was sure to alarm the townspeople. “Somebody came and slit their throats. They’re all dead Arthur.” He broke down then, shuddering and gasping for breath as he pushed back his tears. Dead. Murdered. Gone. Young boys cut down in their prime because of one stupid error. It was more then Alfred could take.
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