remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

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

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:30 pm

The moment Alfred started talking about the jail, Arthur knew something of Thomas' fears had come true. Arthur was royally pissed about that, and somewhat with himself but mostly with whoever could so such a thing. Clear whoever had killed them had gotten in without him noticing or been in the jail the whole time, which had just bothered Arthur more. However he couldn't be angry and in his usual disposition towards the current events before him. The Englishman could take the news and sight of death as long as it wasn't his doing, or a massacre. He wasn't trained for that, and never in his life did he ever thing he would be in the Wild West as a lawman. Yet in his limited amount of sleep, massive amounts of stress, and the fact that he was so close to finding out something, Arthur knew his emotions were quick to react.

Slowly he wrapped his arms around the American, it seemed to be what he needed, and the doctor and his wife won't think much off it. After all, Arthur still had not fully enjoyed being in a dark room, and Alfred had been the only one to calm him down. The town knew they had been through a lot, and with no wives, close family members, or 'fiances' to turn to, they only had each other. While they may probably wonder why the two remain so close and not attempt to find a woman to wed, they knew Alfred is the closest thing Arthur has and vise versa. Arthur shushed the American gently, not saying anything as he spotted Jane appear in the doorway. She had a tray full of food, and seemed to notice them. Silently she entered and put the tray at the food of Arthur's cot, and hurrying off, signalling Arthur she would keep quiet about everything she heard.

"Shh..."Arthur said lightly rubbing Alfred's back. "Alfred it's okay...everything is okay," Arthur hesitated at the word everything. "If not, we'll make it okay." Arthur fell silent for a bit. They would make it as okay as they can. They could rebuild their house. They would stop the people the men were working for. Granted no one could bring the men back to life, but the least they could do was bring some just to them. It would no doubt be a slow and painful process, but they could do it, one thing at a time. "One thing at a time," Arthur repeated out loud.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:16 pm

Alfred pressed himself closer into Arthur’s warm embrace, shuddering as his emotions threatened to engulf him. He didn’t have to look up to sense the other’s true feelings about the situation. Where Alfred was remorseful and shell-shocked, Arthur was angry. In a way, it was relieving to know that the other felt just as strong as he did. With both of them working to achieve justice for the wayward souls of the deceased, Alfred knew that they would be able to accomplish anything. Well… almost anything.

“We can’t make everything okay,” He said bitterly against the Englishman’s shoulder. No matter how hard they worked, how many people they caught or reformed, they could never change what had already been done. Death was irreversible. “We can’t go back and save them.” He pulled away, glancing down at the floor with darkened blue eyes. Now that he had expressed his grief, all there was left was the burning desire to act. Never mind his exhaustion and the fact that he was now homeless - something needed to be done.

“When you were talking with him, Thomas I mean,” It almost hurt to say the dead man’s name, but he pressed onward. “Did he say who might want them dead? Who they were working for? Anything at all that might give us a lead to go on?” There had to be something, anything they could use that would point them in the right direction. He only hoped Arthur had found something before the massacre occurred.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:36 am

Arthur cringed slightly when Alfred corrected his words. Of course Arthur knew they couldn't go back and save the men, but Arthur had never meant that. "I know we can't do that Alfred." Arthur said gently at a loss of what else to say. He was not fond of the current attitude Alfred possessed. Yes, Alfred had a reasonable reason be as such, but Arthur still wished that he would still see some form of a brighter side, something, anything.

He sighed when Alfred pulled away, he was disappointed, it felt like the sheriff was no quite done with his emotions. Arthur had to stop and think about Arthur's question. Interrogation-wise, Arthur was just starting to get the point where information would be given to him rather easily. All Arthur knew really was Thomas' name, and he did wish to see protection once everything blew over. However there was nothing overly specific. Thomas' freak out hadn't much either, aside from delaying Arthur. Arthur couldn't recall anything that would be useful.

"I didn't get very far in the investigation and...Thomas was the first one." Arthur said, almost disappointed with himself that there wasn't much to draw on. "He didn't say much about anything. He did want protection and freaked out when the women came knocking. However there were no names or anything." Arthur said with a shrug, however maybe there was something after that could help to. "Was there anything at the scene that could help?" The Englishman hated asking the American to remember the scene.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:56 pm

Alfred knew that he was being unreasonable. Usually, he was the one of the pair to remain optimistic, but seeing those young, lifeless bodies had hit him harder then he could have imagined. But that was no fault of Arthur’s. “Sorry,” He said in a soft tone, fiddling mindlessly with the bottom of his shirt. Arthur had only been trying to help and, out of bitterness, he had lashed out. “I know that isn’t what you meant. I’m just not… good at dealing with this sort of thing.” He squeezed his eyes shut and took a long, deep breath trying, trying desperately to push away all feeling. “But that’s no excuse.”

Somehow, Alfred knew that Arthur hadn’t gotten as far into the interrogations as he would have liked. If he had come across any valuable information at all, the young sheriff would have been very surprised. When Arthur confirmed his fears, he sighed and pressed a hand over his face. Somebody had been watching them closely. Not only that, but they must be working with a number of people if a fire was started at the exact time when Arthur began his interviews. The more information they uncovered, the more concerned Alfred grew. And with no valuable leads, he wasn’t sure how much good they were going to be able to do right away. He hated the idea of being forced to sit around and wait for another attach while the criminal underground steadily gained strength - but what else could they do if nothing turned up?

“I don’t know. I couldn’t really comprehend much to be honest.” Alfred said with a long sigh, choosing to not relinquish the fact that he had gotten sick and had to be hauled out before he inflicted anymore damage to himself. “Thomas was killed with a blade. As for the others, I didn’t really get a chance to see.” He should have been paying more attention - he knew that now. But it was probably too late. Kiku should have already gotten in touch with the undertaker, which meant that the bodies had been moved or at least cleaned. “We should go back to the jail and see what we can find.” He paused, looking over Arthur cautiously. “I could carry you,” He offered awkwardly, still feeling guilty for the way he had behaved earlier.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:17 pm

A blade? Arthur blinked, and the more he thought about it, it didn't make sense. Yes, a blade was certainly more quiet than a gun, but if the town was more concerned with the fire than the prisoners, surely someone would use a gun. Perhaps a gun was used on the four others in the cell, but Arthur figured that would be foolish, why one with a blade and four more with a gun. Of course if the killer was fast and Arthur was in hearing rang, the blade was indeed the better option. "Why would someone want to use a blade?" Arthur questioned, it seemed like a rather old fashion way of ending someone's life. "More importantly how did they get in you said the door was locked." The Englishman's mind was spinning but nothing seemed to be coming up, nothing that made sense. Kiku came up in his mind for a while, but Kiku had done nothing Arthur aside from his odd personality. However that was nothing to go around blaming people with a reason. Besides, Alfred seemed to like Kiku, Arthur was tired and stressed, but he wasn't stupid to say anything like that.

The American's comment to go back to the jail surprised Arthur, but he nodded, ready to jump off the cot and have Alfred lead the way. However the comment about Alfred carrying him reminded the Briton of his ankle. He huffed, but nodded at the American, Alfred would be faster with him in his arms, rather than supporting Arthur as he walked. "However I think it would be best you carried me on your back," Arthur said, having a strange feeling Alfred would scoop him up bridal smile with little thought. "After we visit the jail we should at least come back and eat the meal Jane made for us." Arthur said lightly pointing to the tray of food for them. It would be politer if they at it now, but the doctor and his wife would no doubt understand.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:27 pm

To be perfectly honest, Alfred hadn’t found it odd that a blade had been used until Arthur pointed it out. He had been so shocked the bloodbath, he hadn’t had time to make sense of what he had seen. But now that Arthur brought it up, he saw that for a murder, it was a strange choice. Guns were much faster, more convenient, and less bloody - so why chose a knife instead? Alfred pondered this silently, but could not come up with any reasonable answers. Then there was the matter of how the killer got in. The door had been locked when he returned, so that threw that option out the window. In his haste, he hadn’t had the chance to search for any break-in sights, but he somewhat doubted there was much to find. The murderer had been watching them. The fire, the murders; it was all planned out flawlessly.

Alfred looked up when Arthur spoke, reminding him of his earlier plan of returning to the jail. However, at the gentle reminder to carry the wounded man on his back, Alfred’s cheeks went pink. Well, he hadn’t seen anything wrong with carrying Arthur bridal style, but he supposed it would be better for their image to play it safe. “Right, of course.” Meal? What meal? Alfred turned around, his gaze coming to rest on the tray the doctor’s wife had left out for them. They really should eat it now, out of common courtesy, but he was afraid of missing something if they waited too long. Still…

Alfred leaned forward and grabbed the tray, setting it between the two of them. “We’ll eat first and then go. We shouldn’t inconvenience the good doctor and his wife any longer than necessary.” Besides, the food looked delicious, his stomach was rumbling, and nobody made rational decisions on an empty stomach. With that in mind, Alfred lifted up one of the plates and began to eat, letting the simple joy of good food and company calm down his frazzled nerves. Everything would be alright, given time. They would find the person responsible for this and they would bring them to justice - one way or another.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:19 pm

Arthur was half expect Alfred to spring up and take him away with a call of the fact that they would be returning. He was not expecting a plate of food to be shoved at him. However he rolled his eyes and took it, if anything the mention of food seemed to do wonders for Alfred's mood. Arthur watched Alfred for a few moments, picking at his food, seeing he was happily enjoying his meal and Arthur ate a little fast than usual. He hadn't eaten anything yet, and Jane was a good cook, or maybe Arthur was just hungry that it all tasted good. The Englishman finished his meal faster than he usually did and blushed when he glanced down at his plate.

"We should get going," Arthur said, placing the plate back on the tray. Arthur noticed Dr. Smith peeking in the room, but he didn't enter the room and disappeared from the doorway. "God, only knows the amount of work we have in front of us."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:19 pm

In spite of everything that had happened within the last few hours, Alfred felt his body begin to relax as he eagerly ate the plate of food. No matter how bleak the situation seemed, a hot meal would always make him feel a little brighter. Besides, Jane was a rather excellent cook and after learning early on in their relationship that Arthur’s skills in the kitchen were… well, less then satisfactory, he had come to greatly appreciate the women in town who frequently stopped by to drop off meals for the hardworking lawmen. Without their constant attentions, he feared the two of them would have much worse off.

Alfred cleaned his plate within moments and turned his attention back to Arthur, smiling a bit when he saw that he wasn’t the only one running on an empty stomach. He chose not to comment on the Englishman’s lack of ‘proper’ manners for the moment and nodded in agreement. “We’ll get it done somehow,” He said as he stood. Alfred crossed over to Arthur’s side and bent down in with his back facing the older man. Although he wouldn’t have minded carrying the other around bridal style (it wasn’t like he hadn’t done it a million times before), he knew that Arthur wouldn’t appreciate it. “Loop your arms around my neck,” He said lightly, already sliding his own around Arthur’s legs (careful not to accidentally graze his bruised ankle). When he was certain the other man wouldn’t fall, Alfred stood and headed out the door.

He was sure to thank the good doctor and his wife for all their help and promised to return if either of them felt even the slightest bit of discomfort. When all the pleasantries were taken care of, he left their home and began the short trek back to the jail. With each step, Alfred’s distress slowly returned. Handling death had never been one of his strong points. To this day, the sight of his lifeless mother lying in her coffin haunted him, but murder sights were a hundred times worse. On nights when the moon was hidden and the darkness crept past his flickering candlelight, he was plagued by the faces of the dead. Alfred would scream until his throat was raw and his skin was covered in a cold sweat. This was how he would lay until the morning sun rose in the east and order was once again restored.

Alfred pushed open the door with his shoulder, both relieved and surprised to see that Kiku had yet to return with the undertaker. It meant that Arthur would have a better opportunity to spot any clues that would lead them to catch their murderer, but it also meant Alfred would have to brave the sight again. He opened up the interrogation room first. The stench was awful, but he stepped inside anyway, purposefully avoiding looking at the corpse. He carefully maneuvered Arthur off his back, but kept one of his arms looped around his shoulder so he had his support, but could move around with more freedom. He only hesitated a moment before taking a step closer to Thomas’s limp form. If they hoped to catch his killer, they needed to do this. It was for the best, no matter how much Alfred wanted to run away and never look back.

“Do you see anything?” He asked, swallowing thickly as he stared down at the body. He already knew he wouldn’t be much help in this matter, but with any luck, Arthur would see what he could not.


((Wah, sorry this took so long! Holiday's are stressful! But I hope yours was wonderful. Btw, congrads on the raffle prize :D Alfie loved your poem.))
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:34 pm

Arthur shifted on the bed once Alfred was done with his eating. Arthur shooting the American a small glare, however he was happy the man kept his mouth shut if he was going to say anything. Arthur helped Alfred get him in the right position and looped his arms around Alfred's neck, leaning forward and making sure he was secure. The doctor and his wife didn't seem to mind them leaving, Dr. Smith giving a quick remind of no weight on Arthur's ankle for a week, no matter what happened. Arthur rolled his eyes, but politely told the doctor he knew and would be extra careful. Once they were out of the doctor's house, few people took notice to them. Some women of course were curious, but they didn't stop them.

"It'll be okay, Alfred," Arthur said briefly before Alfred opened the door to the jail. "It's all for justice." Arthur braced himself for the sight, Alfred had told him, and if all five had been killed it was not going to be a pretty sight to begin with. Arthur was way better with death than Alfred on most events, but he had feeling none of them were going to be good with this one. It was somewhat nice for him to have in mind as Alfred opened the interrogation room and maneuvered Arthur so he could hobble around. Arthur politely coughed at the sent, shoving it into the back of his mind and focusing on what he needed to do; find something to bring justice to these men, Thomas deserved that at least out of all of them.

The Englishman was sadden by the sight of Thomas. Sorry I couldn't save you Thomas. Arthur thought silently, fearing if he said it out loud his controlled emotions might try to run wild. He carefully hobbled over to Thomas' body and looking at every detail. Arthur carefully touched the body, like he had seen detectives do back in London when he was a child and his mother would urge him on with a prayer under his breath. The cut on Thomas' throat was clean, almost too clean, not only did someone know what they were doing they knew how to do it quietly.

Alfred's question startled Arthur a bit, and he made a small sound. "The cut seems clean, who ever did this knew exactly how to do this how they wanted." Arthur turned his attention back to the room, there didn't seem to be a sign of a forced entry or something that would make Thomas do something to try and defend himself. "The person was good at sneaking around, almost soundless I'd say." The deputy bit his lip before turn back to the American. He had see the other four, and that was going to be different than Thomas, he didn't know these men, but there were four man dead in a room. "We can see the others...now." Arthur said, "You could probably look for possible ways someone got in, I can use a wall." Arthur hoped Alfred would take the offer so he would have his mind else where.

((Happy New Year early. Yes, holidays are stressful but worth it in the end. Thanks, I honestly didn't think I was going to win at all.))
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:55 pm

Alfred was grateful Arthur did not ask him to do anything more besides act as a support. If he had to interact with the body in any way, he wasn’t sure he would be able to handle it. It was difficult enough to be standing in the same room where a murder had taken place not more than an hour ago. But Arthur was managing well enough on his own. The moment he was free to move, he was at the body and examining with the a critical kind of a eye that Alfred himself did not possess. Within minutes he had already determined a few characteristics of their killer, something he had not been able to do. Arthur was truly incredible.

“That doesn’t sound like the usual batch of criminals,” Alfred said quietly, daring to look over Thomas’s prone figure. He recognized the style of killing from another man, one he had not laid eyes on in months. But it couldn’t be - he couldn’t be so foolish as to try and restart the criminal underground so close to their town. Then again, there weren’t very many men or women whom it could be. Alfred felt his heart sink in realization. If this truly was Yao again, they were in for a whole lot more trouble then a few petty thefts. An organized crime ring was not something he wanted to mess around with again so if they wanted to stop this before it became too out of hand, they would have to act soon.

Alfred tired not to look too relieved when Arthur gave him a separate task rather then viewing the rest of the bodies. “I’ll do that,” He agreed, but did not immediately move. The least he could do for Arthur was get him to the other room, but he would leave him at the doorway so he wouldn’t have to see the bodies again. Alfred looped Arthur’s arm around his shoulder and helped him out of the interrogation room, careful to the close the door behind them. Slowly, they walked to the cell block together. “I’ll leave you here then,” He said gently, blue eyes staring gratefully down at the Englishman. “If you need me for anything, just shout.” With a final nod to Arthur, he turned around and went about completing his assigned task.

((Happy [early] New Year as well! Lol, I liked your poem - it was sweet and if Arthur ever gave a poem to Alfie, he would looove it *hint hint*))
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:28 pm

Arthur mind was spinning as Alfred lead him out of the room and closed the door on Thomas' body. There was nothing Arthur could do for Thomas aside from bring him justice, and Arthur was hoping to that. Countless theories were spinning in his head. He was so caught up in them, he caught just the tail end of Alfred leaving him to look for possible entry points. Arthur turned to him with a nod, not knowing what to say. Arthur took a deep breath to calm himself, thinking if he say one body at a time and not the whole scene it might help with his work. His green eyes focused briefly on the whole scene, noting there was a bit of a struggle, but due to injures and limited space, it seemed to useless to so much as try to defend themselves.

The Englishman turned his attention to the man closest to him, he was on the floor but a similar wound to Thomas. Arthur turned his attention to another man, a circle of blond on his back. Someone struck him through, this was clearly not a knife, however the weapon couldn't be excluded. Arthur carefully hopped a bit towards the back of the cell where two more man were. They both have their throats split, but it seemed more like they have been killed in one swift move. Carefully hopping back to the entrance of the cell, Arthur took in the complete sight, and it wasn't easy for him either. However he calmed himself and looked, anything could be of help. He spotted something and almost grinned. As good as the killer might have been something slipped watch.

Arthur had noticed Alfred and he figured Kiku's (much to his annoyance do to the closeness) foot prints from obviously the first exploration of it. However the killer seemed to have underestimated or gotten caught in a struggle and accidentally stepped in some blood. The print was small, almost the size of a young teenager. Theories were still spinning in his head, Arthur still had questions to ask, but this was somewhere to start. "Alfred!" Arthur shouted, "I think I found something useful."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:39 pm

Once he had cleared the room, Alfred headed for the front of the building to check for any broken locks or open windows. He found nothing of the sort and forced himself to look past the obvious. A skilled assassin wasn’t likely to use a well-known or easily seen entrance, so that left him to think of a more creative means of breaking in. Putting himself into the mind of a criminal was not his strong suit, but he had to do his best if he hoped to bring any of these men rest in the afterlife. Arthur was already doing his part, it was time he did too.

Alfred walked outside and began to slowly circle the building, examining every break, crack, or splinter within the wood. To his disappointment, there was no sign of anybody forcing an opening. He groaned and kicked the back of the building in irritation. There were no broken windows, broken locks, or splintered doorways - how the hell did this guy get in? Was he a ghost or something?! Alfred instantly paled at the thought but brushed it away as quickly as it had come. Ghosts couldn’t hurt people (much to the paranoid American’s relief), meaning that somebody was here and they had to have broken into the building one way or another. He just needed to look harder.

He took another step forward to check the other side once more when the ground beneath his foot caved in slightly. “What the…” Alfred crouched down and began pushing at the dirt. Towards the side of the jail house was a small but distinct opening dug away, just big enough for a person to fit through. If he remembered correctly, the room where they would have come out from would have been a closet, meaning neither of them would have noticed if the floorboards were cut away. “So that’s how he did it…”

Arthur’s voice breaks past his deep thoughts, pulling him back to the present. He abandons his discovery for the moment to walk back around the building towards the front. There will be plenty of time to explore further, but for now, he has Arthur to see. “I’m here!” He called, hesitating only slightly before stepping into the cell room once more. The smell was horrendous, but he fared better this time around. “I think I found out how our killer got in. What did you find?”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:41 pm

Arthur grinned at the sound of Alfred's voice and then the fact that he found how the person possibly got in. They were making more progress than Arthur could have wished for at the moment. They hadn't been there terribly long, or so he felt that was the case. "See those prints over there?" Arthur said hopping towards the bars of the cell and pointing to the pair that lead towards the front door. "Those are Kiku's (I presume) and yours. However," Arthur pointed to the other print and that faded path, "are not. The killer knew what they were doing, but the men fought back and things got a bit out of hand. That and they were young, by the looks of it. Aside from that the weapon was clearly a blade, possible a sword or a knife and a sword." Arthur said filling in everything he had come to observe.

The Englishman turned to the American, "What did you find?" He asked, curious as to how the killer got in.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:59 pm

Alfred stepped forward, crouching down to look at the blood painted footprints. Considering how skillful the murders had been, it was shocking that such a mistake could have been overlooked at all. Perhaps the killer had realized that his time was running out and opted to escape rather then risk being caught. “Well that explains what I found,” Alfred said, looking over the small prints. Arthur was right - either a teenager or someone petite was their killer. Not exactly the characteristics one would usually list when describing a murder.

The young sheriff stood and crossed to the back of the room, shoving open the rarely used storage closet. Just as he had figured, the floorboards were torn up just enough to create a big enough opening for a small person to slip in and out of. “This is how he got in. He dug underneath the floorboards just enough to pull them up and snuck in without anyone noticing.” He bent over to lightly finger the jagged edges where the wood had split. There were a few dark spots on the ground, blood presumably and something else too. Alfred reached down and detached the small bit of fabric from the splintered wood it had caught itself on. “Looks like our guy was in a bit of a hurry to get out of here,” He said, turning over the scrap to examine it. Black - of course, but the texture wasn’t like anything he had come across before. Unlike the durable fabrics of the west, this felt smooth.

“Take a look at this Artie.” Alfred crossed back over to the other lawmen, holding out the scrap he had found. “It must have torn off when he was leaving.” A noise from the front caught his attention, reminding him that he had sent the newest addition to their team off to collect the undertaker. “That’s probably Kiku. I’ll have him help with Thomas first before we get these guys out of here.” Alfred managed a small smile before he quickly left the room to direct the undertaker to the bodies. He felt now though. At least with these handful of clues they might actually make some headway. One way or another, the fallen men would be given justice - he would be sure of that.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:54 pm

Arthur was happy everything seemed to be staying constant. He worked his way out of the cell to get a better view of what Alfred was showing him and he was rather stunned, but impressed. "If he was in a hurry that means someone was helping them. How else would they have known they were running out of time." Arthur question. Their house wasn't far away, so the crash might have been hard to hear. Hopefully that meant someone, sort of stumbled upon them or questioned what someone was doing under the jail house. "What would make them be in a hurry, everyone was gone for a while." Arthur questioned just as Alfred stood back up.

Arthur took the cloth he was handed and looked it over quickly. It wasn't like the usual fabric he was use to. This was something impress and of good quality, something his father would buy his mother and she would make something lovely for herself. He remembered the feeling of dresses and curtains under his fingertips very close the feeling. Arthur gave Alfred a grin as he went to leave. "Okay, I'll hobble out of your way." Arthur said as Alfred left still looking over the fabric. Why would anyone wear this and kill someone? He asked himself.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:45 pm

Just as he had guessed, Kiku had arrived with the undertaker in tow. Alfred gave both men a grateful smile before leading them into the room where Thomas was. If the middle-aged undertaker was disturbed the sight, he did not show it. He simply sighed, rolled up his sleeves and went to work cleaning the body in order to be moved and buried. The moment before Kiku closed the door leading into the interrogation room, Alfred watched as the gentlemen gently maneuvered Thomas’s frame up from it’s slouched position, wiping up the blood with the utmost care. It strangely made Alfred feel all the better to know that this man was treating him with the respect, as if Thomas were merely sleeping.

Then the door closed between them and Kiku’s face came into focus again. “Alfred-san, are you feeling alright?” Alfred could hear the concern in the other man’s voice clear as day and it wasn’t unjustified. Before he left to go track down Arthur, he hadn’t been faring too well. Now that he had time to process everything and had taken the first few steps towards justice, he felt infinitely better. “Yeah, I’m doing okay,” He said with an easy smile. “Thanks by the way. You really helped me out back there.” Kiku’s pale cheeks turned pink at the praise and he tried to offer a response, but ended up sputtering and stumbling over his words. Alfred just laughed, clapped the small man on the shoulder before heading back to where he left Arthur.

“Kiku and the undertaker are here,” He said, stepping up by Arthur’s side to offer his support once more. Arthur was still looking at the scrap of fabric they had found, turning it over in his hands as he examined it. “Lean on me and I’ll help you out of here.” Alfred crouched down and pulled Arthur’s arm around his shoulders once more. He offered the preoccupied man a smile before slowly helping him out of the room. With the clues they had managed to uncover, he was confident they would be able to find their killer. The best thing to do now was organize their thoughts before action was taken.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:23 pm

Alfred's voice knocked Arthur out of his thinking and he tucked the cloth into his pocket to look over later. Arthur figured it was best he get out the jail, even if he didn't know why Kiku didn't like him, Alfred could get better work out of him is he was gone. "Ah, thank you Alfred." Arthur said with a smile, there was still so much too do. He hooked his arm around Alfred's shoulder and hobbled as quick as he could, his head spinning. Kiku had in a way been ruled out in himself, he was slightly too big for their killer, but there was something about him that was just a huge red flag. Once they managed to get outside on the porch, Arthur reached for the chair on the outside of the building and slowly braced himself before unlatching himself from Alfred's shoulder. He fished out the fabric more to look it over in a better light.

Things aren't adding up. Arthur thought, well they were, but it would have been easier had the weapon been a gun. It wasn't like Arthur could do much walking around, nor could he remember who was at the fire and who wasn't. Someone had to see something and Arthur hoped they weren't some body in the desert now. "Why would anyone want to wear a fabric of this grade to murder someone?" Arthur thought out loud. "That part doesn't make sense, and you didn't see any footprints did you?" Arthur asked turning to Alfred, a direction they were headed could be a gold mine for them right now. If anything that was something they needed right now, that and a place to stay, and extra help. Arthur shook his head lightly to not think about what the needed, but what they had.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:05 am

Alfred could read the frustration in Arthur’s face as clear as day. That small bit of fabric was inspiring more questions then answers and it was already proving to challenge the Englishman’s reasoning abilities. But Alfred was at a loss as well. He had only ever encountered fabric of that quality in passing - it wasn’t something that any common person was in possession of. How their killer got a hold of it was simply baffling. “I didn’t see any footprints,” He said, looking towards the back of the jailhouse where the small opening had been dug. The dirt was far too dry and cracked to keep any substantial prints for long and it would have been a long shot anyway.

Alfred sighed and sat on one of the wooden benches they had lining the front porch. This certainly had not been what he had expected to happen today. They had lost their home, five men had been murdered whom were supposed to be under their protection, Arthur was hurt, and to top it all off, they had no idea where to go from here. It was beyond frustrating. All Alfred wanted to do was curl up in his bed and fall asleep. Maybe if he did so, he would wake and find that this was all nothing more then a horrific nightmare. But that was impossible. His bed was charred to bits and there was far too much work for him to even consider pushing it off to another day. Damn.

“Perhaps I can be of some assistance Alfred-san?”

The young sheriff tilted his head, catching sight of the quiet Asian man waiting patiently by the front door. Kiku’s gaze dropped to the floor in embarrassment, but he continued nonetheless. “You found something belonging to the killer, correct? And from Arthur-san’s questions, I gather that it is of rather high quality.” Alfred nodded at this, encouraging him to go on. “Then perhaps your murderer is somebody living within the city.”

“How do you figure that?” The thought that somebody under their jurisdiction could have committed such a crime did not sit well with him, but he was willing to hear Kiku out.

“Benefactors are not uncommon within criminal society, although they are usually do not hold much power. Perhaps your killer was a son or grandson of a wealthy family who was called upon to pay their dues to the organization.” Alfred stared at the other man for a long moment, wondering where he had drawn such a conclusion from. They had a few wealthy merchants and tradesman in town, but he could not imagine any of them being involved in any respect. But then there was the fabric… Alfred shook his head, unsure of what to believe or think at this point. “I don’t know Kiku… that’s placing the blame on some pretty influential people. It’s entirely possible I suppose…” He turned to Arthur, silently asking for his counsel. “What do you think?”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:26 pm

Sighing he fell back in the chair, burying his face in his hands. Great there was nothing for them to even follow. The day wasn't getting any better, Arthur almost wanted the sun to just drop out of sight and everyone could go to sleep, or more people would just show up and help them. He heard Kiku start talking, but he still didn't move from his position.

Arthur shook his head at Kiku's words. They made sense, yes, but at the same time they didn't. Some people were better off than others, but Arthur had only seen travelers with a fabric of this quality, and it usually wasn't much. A simple fancy handkerchief, or one elegant dress, maybe just the lining of the suit. The West was heard, even the riches people could go poor (Arthur knew that much), if anyone was smart they would rid of such a value in the city for at least some descent money, or made sure they were completely guaranteed they wouldn't go broke. "It does make some sense," Arthur glanced at Kiku briefly. "I'll admit money can be...hard to come by in the West, but I've truly only seen travelers with this type of material. It's rarely an outfit, much less one to go about killling people in."

Arthur didn't know what to think at all. If someone had a good source, in a good network, maybe they would get something similar, but why kill with a blade. Sure Arthur new how to handle a sword, his brothers and him took fencing, and Arthur had a few friend who went into the army and ranked. The Englishman could be mean with a stick, but he was lost with a blade, and trusted a gun more. "If it was someone in the town," Arthur said, though he highly doubted it was anyone predominately living in the town, "the use of the blade is considered slightly old fashioned, no offense." Arthur said, giving Kiku a small grin when he remembered he used a sword. "The weapon of choice would more likely be a gun."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:06 pm

Alfred was not particularly perceptive, but even he could sense the aggravation behind Kiku’s soft eyes when the other lawmen slighted the power of the blade. And, much to the sheriff’s annoyance, it appeared that Arthur had done it on purpose. “We shouldn’t completely rule out Kiku’s idea, Arthur,” He said, flashing the green-eyed man a look that clearly said not to start a fight. It would do them no good to argue among each other when they had bigger concerns that required their attention. Kiku gave Arthur a smug smirk, which melted away just as Alfred turned to address him. “Still, Arthur brings up a good point. And it’s a bit too radical to go around accusing anybody just yet. We don’t have any information to go off of.”

He leaned forward, resting his head against his hands. Lord he was tired. In spite of his best efforts, he probably only got about an hour of sleep or so before the fire began. “What now?” He asked, unable to bring himself to look up at either of his companions. They had to act, that much was certain, but what could they hope to accomplish with so little information? Perhaps they could do a search of the surrounding desert? No, that was foolish and he knew it. The likelihood of finding anything useful was slim to none without a trail to follow.

A cool hand rested against his forehead, prompting him to tilt his head back up. Kiku was before him, gently maneuvering his hair out of his face as he examined him. “You look a little feverish Alfred-san. Perhaps you should rest.” Alfred groaned and shook his head. No, no, he had already let Arthur have his way about that today - he wasn’t going to let Kiku manipulate him into sleeping the day away too. But the Asian man anticipated this and pressed two fingers against his lips to silence him before he could speak. “My room in the inn is still open. I would be more then happy to allow you to sleep for as long as you need to. I can handle things for a little while.”

Alfred blinked, staring up at the man before him with confusion written clearly on his face. Those words were nearly identical to the ones that Arthur had used on him earlier. Weird - he wasn’t used to people so ready to pamper him. He could understand Arthur’s motives since, well, he loved him, but Kiku didn’t have any reason to behave this way. Then again, he could just be a nice sort of person.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:56 pm

Arthur was a lost when Alfred shot him a look and he noticed the hidden rage in the oriental man's eyes. He said 'no offense' and he didn't mean any by the statement. The Englishman held back a pout as he was "corrected." Arthur was not ruling anything out, he had been wrong before about things, he was simply stating the fact that it was unlikely. He had come to the Wild West with some riches, he lost them all. He was a criminal, he knew what would get him a meal and what wouldn't, as well as the pay someone could get in a network. He figured there was some illegal activity in their town, some people were a little too well off than they really should, but there was nothing to pin them down. And what the bloody hell was that look on Kiku's face for?! Though Arthur will admit he can't help the smirk that came on his face when Kiku was corrected a bit as well. Oh, stop it! He thought to himself sharply, You're acting like a ill mannered child.

The deputy let out a small growl when he realized how he was acting. Kiku seemed like a nice fellow, even if he somehow managed to know exactly how to annoy Arthur to knew just by standing in the same room. He turned to Alfred at the sound of his question. He cursed himself for his injury and not being able to just get up and comfort the American. What do they do? Arthur didn't have a clue. There was a huge list of things they needed to do, but where to start was the question. It wasn't like they could go home either and just sit, think, and comfort the other. However now they were in the public eye, twenty-four/seven until there was a new house for them to live in.

Kiku's voice, pulls Arthur away from his thinking, and Arthur is almost surprised he didn't break the chair he was in at the sight. He shouldn't be jealous, or angry, or what ever emotion he was feeling towards it, he knew Alfred was his. However Kiku did something rather surprising, he told Alfred to rest in an almost identical way Arthur had earlier that day. Of course, this time nothing is likely to happen (Arthur felt the guilt take a deep plunge into his gut when he remembered he told Alfred to sleep for a while). He turned away, glancing off into the horizon. Kiku is like him in ways, and Arthur could see them getting along, but maybe Kiku was slightly better for Alfred. Kiku would likely get the other in less trouble, and he seemed to just click with Alfred better.

Arthur shook his head, what was with him today. What emotional train wreck was he currently in the middle of? He's tired, homeless, and stressed, it was not a good time for emotions to be getting out of hand and making him lose focus. He calmed himself and turned back to the two. "You should rest...if Kiku says you feel feverish," Arthur said, giving a small grin, but the weight of his guilt was to much to make him feel it. "I can help Kiku...if he'll have it."
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:49 pm

The look in Arthur’s eyes was not one to inspire confidence. Alfred could see the stress and the pain building up behind those pools of emerald, threatening to consume him completely if he slipped up. Just the sight of it was enough to break Alfred’s heart. “We both need rest,” He said, pushing himself off the bench. Despite the gruesome murders and the suspected arson case that had lead to the destruction of their home, the young sheriff found himself ready to rely on Kiku for this one day if it meant bringing light back into those beautiful eyes again. In that moment, he was willing to sacrifice anything to see that again.

“Kiku, thank you for your offer,” He said, a smile tugging at his lips in spite of the exhaustion he felt. “I think it would be best for all of us if Arthur and I take the rest of the day off to recharge. I hate to ask this of you Kiku, especially since you only just arrived, but would you be willing to be the deputy on call today?” The small man looked surprised by the sudden change in atmosphere, but nodded quickly in response. “Thank you,” Alfred said, sincerity coloring his tone and face. “If you need us for any reason, we will be at the inn resting.” With that said, he turned on his heel, walked up to Arthur and pulled him up into his arms. As much as he’d rather carry the injured man bridal style, he figured Arthur wouldn’t appreciate it. Then again, he probably wouldn’t appreciate being thrown over the American’s shoulder any more, but it was the best he could do for the moment.

“Don’t even think about fighting this Artie,” He said lightly, moving off the porch with his fiancé in tow. “You need the rest just as much as I do. We’ll get a room at the inn and relax until tomorrow. It’s not going to do either of us any good to run ourselves into the ground.”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:16 pm

Arthur was expecting a sharp "no" from Kiku, or maybe something that put Arthur on the other side of town away from him. Alfred's comment was a complete surprise Arthur was almost have temped to glare at him. Both of them did not need rest, Arthur could muscle through a day, especially with everything that had to be done. Surely Arthur could write a letter and try to get more help and do some paper work for Kiku, even write his mother a letter. But the look in the American's eyes was clear, he had seen straight through Arthur. The Englishman knew he had no more say in anything, it wasn't like he could up and flee, he would have done it already if he could. At most he could try to talk his way out of it, but it already seemed like a failed attempt.

He was surprised when Alfred lifted him up and started walking off with him. For someone who looked so exhausted, Arthur wanted to know where he had the strength to lift him with such ease. "What bloody fighting can I do with one leg, you git!?" Arthur snapped attempting to not be a limp thing. It's bad enough he's injured, he doesn't want people thinking he passed out as well. He grumbles to himself, before turning back and watching Kiku grow further into the distances. The man wasn't that bad, he just took up a whole town for a day. Arthur almost feels like he should get extra help before he lets Alfred let him rest. The clearly was not going to run him into the ground.
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:08 pm

Arthur must have already sensed that it was pointless to argue for he barely struggled. He offered up a sarcastic comment with an insult thrown in when he was hoisted over the American’s shoulder, but that was about the extent of it. “Good point,” Alfred said in reply, smiling in spite of himself. He shouldn’t be pleased that his fiancé was injured, but at the same time, he thanked his lucky stars for forcing Arthur into taking a break. The stubborn Brit absolutely refused to relax when he had any other option (although he noticed that often times he was tricked into taking a break by the cunning former thief), and he was certain that had he been able at the time, Arthur would made a run for it.

It only took a few short minutes for them to arrive at the inn, and Alfred could not be happier to see it. His moment of power was waning and the exhaustion was setting in once more. He was almost tempted to collapse on the decorative couch that sat in the front sitting room of the inn, but thought better of it. “A room please ma’am,” He said, smiling at the pretty brunette lady behind the counter. “For the two of us.” There was no need to point out the man currently tossed over his shoulder, but he did so anyway. The women simply smiled, grabbed a key from behind her desk and motioned for Alfred to follow.

“I am afraid that there are no double bedrooms available Sheriff Jones. I hope a single bed will be alright for you and Deputy Kirkland?” She said as she unlocked the door.

“No need to worry about us Ms. Héderváry, we’ll be just fine.” Although he did find it a bit odd that there were no other rooms available. The town certainly didn’t seem any busier then usual. Ah well, he probably just hadn’t been paying much attention.

Elizaveta left with the promise of returning at supper, closing the door as that odd little smile of hers tugged at the corners of her lips. When the door shut behind her, Alfred carefully maneuvered Arthur onto the soft mattress. “There we go,” He said, all but collapsing onto the bed beside the other man. “You and I are going to rest, you hear? No talking about work, no worrying about work, or anything else for that matter. It’s just going to be you and me recovering, sleeping, and eating well - that’s it.” He rolled onto his side, blue eyes trained solely on Arthur’s face. If there was any sign of that horrible sadness that was threatening to steal him away, Alfred would find a way to be rid of it.

“You understand me Arthur?” His voice was soft, gentle. Slowly he reached up to cup the Englishman’s cheek, pulling him up into a soft kiss. “You deserve a break.”
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Re: remember the cowboy that loves you so true...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:28 am

The bed was soft, not as soft and wonderful as their own had been, but Arthur knew he might fall asleep given enough time. Alfred fell onto the bed beside him, and Arthur told him what he could and couldn't do. It was going to be easier said than done. With the days events, Arthur feels like he has to let everything out before he can relax. He feels for Kiku too, the town was big and for one man it was hard, surely the system would spare them another man when they heard what happened. However Alfred made it seem like he was going to get nothing done aside from sleep.

Part of Arthur wants to see if they could get some form of bath water to their room. He wanted to remove the constant reminded of the smoke and fire that had taken almost everything from him. His ankle is enough of how close he was to actually losing everything. The Englishman did not need his grim covered body to help remind him why his ankle hurt. He closed his eyes shortly after the American turned to him and gave him a nod. It was bad enough Alfred knew he wasn't as controlled with his emotions as usual. He knew Alfred would attempt to get what he wanted from Arthur, then say something that would just make Arthur feel ten times worse.

He felt himself pulled into a kiss, and returned it as much as he could without making it seem it was forced or half-hearted. He rolled over so he faced away from the American. He didn't deserve any bit of rest, Kiku did more than him. Honestly the man had been awake more than him, and he still took on the town. Arthur wanted more than anything to get everything out, but not to Alfred just yet. He needs to write it out for himself first and get some form of order, because he's not sure he wants to be a crying mess for Alfred to handle. He's not sure he wants Alfred to know he feels guilty about what almost happened. He sighed to himself.
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