This Town is Big Enough...

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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:15 am

It didn’t take long to track Ivan’s movements. He had both Matthew and Francis tailing him from the railroad station, so when he arrived to finish the job, they were both waiting down the street of the house where the Russian was staying. There was a moment of confusion when they realized that Arthur was not present, but from the look of cool determination that had made it’s way into Alfred’s gaze, it was clear that there was a reason for this shift in planning.

Francis stepped forward and pointed needlessly to the fine mansion a couple houses away. In front where the standard two guards by the front and more were probably waiting just inside. Clearly Ivan was growing more cautious in light of the uprising. “He came with five guards, but we cannot tell how many are inside.” Alfred nodded in understanding, figuring as much when Francis continued. “He went up to the top room before the curtains were drawn. We can only assume that’s where he is and at least two guards are inside with him.” At this, the Frenchman paused and turned his attention to the quiet man beside him. Matthew looked nervous and rightly so. He had traveled alongside his brother for these forty days and seen exactly how much he was willing to risk. He didn’t want him to needlessly throw his life away.

“Alfred, I know you think this is the right path to take but…” He stopped and took a deep breath, willing himself to be brave for his brother’s sake. “Just… be careful. Please.” Alfred stepped forward and pulled his twin into a reassuring embrace. The two brother held onto each other for a long while, a silent understanding passing between them. If anything were to go wrong, the other promised to take care of the other.

All too soon, Alfred pulled away. “Everything will be fine. You two stick with the plan and I’ll be out within the hour.” He flashed Matthew and the creepy (but trustworthy) Frenchman another smile before turning away. It had taken weeks to convince them that it would be better for him to face Ivan alone, but in the end, neither his brother or Francis could disagree with the fact that he had a better chance of making it out of this alive. Arthur’s deal aside, he needed to do this.

Taking out the guards was relatively easy. Matthew and Francis supplied enough distraction by causing a disturbance from the street, giving him enough time to slip passed them into the grand mansion. Once inside, he had to rely on stealth to move passed the houses other occupants. And when this promptly failed, he resorted to using brute force to knock the men out before they exposed him. Despite all this, it surprised him how well is infiltration was going. Before too long, he stood in front of the door that separated him from the man who had nearly ruined his life.

Alfred closed his eyes and reached down to grasp on his pistols, reassuring himself once more that everything was fine. He could do this. There was no need to be afraid anymore. He was stronger now and he had Arthur to save. Nothing was going to stop him. “Get ready Ivan…” He murmured, blue eyes shining with determination as he kicked open the wooden door.

The sight that was awaiting him was not the one he had been expecting. Instead of Ivan surrounded by a small army of guards, the room was completely dark save for the one candle flickering to the right of him. Alfred cautiously stepped inside, pulling his gun from his hostler. “I’m here Ivan. There is no use hiding anymore.”

“Lord Bragniski is not here,” An accented voice from behind him said. “He went to go visit the a friend at a the brothel house.” Alfred felt a knife press up against the side of his neck, as if daring him to attack. “I’m afraid you will simply have to play with me first.”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:56 am

"Suck in." The woman helping to dress him ordered gently. Before Arthur could ask way, she pulled tightly on the strings of the corset. How anywoman managed to wear one was beyond Arthur. He could even breathe properly, it took him a few minutes just to get use to the breathing in the thing, at least the woman was not too harsh or hurry-some about anything. There was no real conversation between the two of them, just little things here and there. Arthur didn't care, he had at least been allowed to bathe and he wasn't bound any more. Arthur sure as hell wasn't going to harm any female there, he was too much of a gentleman to do so. Of course now he was learning all the hellish things women went on a somewhat daily basis. He damned whoever even invent such horrible pieces of clothing for women and what ever reason they invented it for.

Arthur worked his sore body into a dress, it was tight to his body, save the shirt, leaving very little to be imaged about his form which was been squeezed so it appeared more feminine. The woman helped button it up in the back, before she left and a rather bubbly sort of lady. She seemed to be in charge of getting a wig on his head. It was a rather simple wig, long blonde hair that was similar to the color of his own hair. It had been pulled up in the pig tails, which looked rather childish, but he couldn't help it. The woman chattered about, but Arthur didn't exactly listen to her.

"Sarah, I believe, he's fine." The head woman's voice sounded, and the woman stopped what she was doing and hurried away. Arthur turned to see the woman and Ivan, his grip on the skirt of his dress tighten. "I told you he was here."

"Why is he not out there with the others?" Ivan asked coolly.

The woman sorted. "At this time of night it would be useless. Besides there was no announcement. Yes, women don't usually come to this place, but men rather like an introduction when I let my girls loss." The woman said, Ivan gave her a look.

Ivan walked over with a graces that was too majestic for words, it was rather inhuman. "That is not what I asked of you," Ivan snapped his hand quickly wrapping around Arthur's neck tightly, lifting him with ease.

"You wouldn't hurt a woman," Arthur said smugly, which just caused the hold to tighten.

"You're not a woman." Ivan stressed, before he realist Arthur and stormed away. "He better be in use tomorrow." With that the Russian was gone.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:04 pm

Quick as the man had appeared behind him, he was gone again. Alfred stumbled to the side of the darkened room, gripping his pistol tightly. What the hell was this? Matthew and Francis had tracked Ivan back here - how was it that he managed to slip away unnoticed again? And more importantly, who was he currently fighting? From the list that Toris had given him, he had successfully subdued every top man and women that Ivan had on call. Than he remembered the brunette’s warning and Arthur’s panic. So this was the man that Ivan had taken a liking too. This was the elusive Yao.

Armed with this knowledge, Alfred straightened up and glared at the darkness. “You know exactly who I am, why are you attacking? The deal still holds - you cannot touch me.” He felt like a coward hiding behind the deal at a time like this, but the last thing he wanted was to be killed before he got a chance to face Ivan. The sound of a chuckle to the left of him caused him to jerk around, aiming his pistol towards the vague outline of the other man.

“I am aware of who you are Mr. Jones. I am also aware of the details of the deal between Arthur Kirkland and Lord Braginski were that no one under his command is to harm you.” There was a flash of a thin sword being removed from it’s sheath. “However, I am not under his command Mr. Jones. And I have grown tired of you.” Yao swung at him with a surprising amount of grace and skill, but Alfred was quick. He pushed his way out of the still open door, grateful to be back in the light where he was no longer at a disadvantage. Using the time he had made for himself, he took aim at the open door and fired, hoping to at least clip the other man before he started up his attack again. Luck was against him and the man stepped out into the light, unscathed and ready to fight.

He wasn’t entirely sure what he had been expecting, but this certainly wasn’t it. The man who stood before him was short with a delicate, feminine sort of face and long brown hair tied up in a ponytail behind him. Had he not been glaring at the American with such fiery hatred, he might have mistook him for a mild-mannered women. However Alfred was done with this game of dancing around. He wanted answers and he wanted them now. He raised his pistol again, offering a heated glare of his own. “Who the fuck are you?”

The oriental man frowned, but did not immediately rush at him. “You are not very bright, are you Mr. Jones?” He mumbled under his breath in some unfamiliar language before turning his attention back to the sheriff. “Why Ivan wants to keep you alive is beyond me, but I have had enough of his games. His actions are causing my empire to fall apart.”

Alfred’s eyes widened and for a moment, he forgot how to breath. “Wait a minute, what do you mean your empire? But I thought…”

Yao cut him off with another vicious glare, his blade swinging dangerously close to the sheriff’s arm. “You think Ivan built this himself? Oh no Mr. Jones, you are mistaken. I have been pulling the strings from the very beginning.”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:38 pm

"Listen here, bastard," the woman snarled, gripping Arthur's chin after she stormed over. Her grip was tight, but clearly a woman's grip. Arthur struggled lightly in it, his body not taking to the woman's clothing well. His chest was sore and his breathing was rapid once again from Ivan's light chocking. "You are not in any way a woman, I will not protect you like I do my girls."

Arthur gave her a sharp look. He did not care how much the woman was going to protect him. He was not exactly a wimp, beaten and battered, yes, but he could still pick pockets. Besides his gone forty-days of torture and not only that but thirty-six of them he wasn't sure how much time had passed. He did not need a woman to protect him and kick people out for him. "I'm not asking you too." Arthur said firmly. He could guess what she was going to snap at him next. "Don't worry about you're girls, I was raised to be a proper English gentleman and the West has not erased that from my head." Arthur said, his mother had taught him well. He had always been by her side as a child, more than his brothers who were sent off to schools in different parts of the country. Sure, Arthur was sent away, but his mother was just a sort trip away. Besides, Arthur's helped countless women of countless backgrounds and never once had to think twice about it.

"You're a man," the woman said lowly, like that alone was a face to not trust him.

"You're a prostitute, I don't exactly want to hear it." Arthur snapped rather annoyed with her, he was soar and tired and now he had his timeline a little straighter. He figured he was going to be a little snappy with someone at some point. "I have a heart else where, as well as mind else where." Arthur said lowly, before he ripped his head free of the woman's hold and flailed his hands about to try and grab something to get up. "However, you might what to give Ivan his gun back." Arthur said holding out the gun he had taken with surprising ease in the man's rage. It might end up helping Alfred in the long run, seeing as how the woman just started at the gun and then him. "If I remember correctly, Sarah said my room was the third door on the right." Arthur said rather girlishly, but his annoyance was still shining through. He placed the gun down and hobbled off. Blasted heels!
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:03 pm

The sudden announcement was so shocking to the American, that he barely had time to react to the sword suddenly swinging at his extended arm. His reaction was half a second too late and the blade cut deeply into his forearm. “Ah shit!” He cursed, dropping his first pistol at the sudden pain. Yao did not react more than pulling his weapon free from the American’s arm. “How Ivan ever convinced me to allow you to remain alive is beyond me. You and the rest of your idealistic lawmen need to step off your platforms and realize that the world is corrupt.”

Alfred winced and drew his other pistol, sidestepping when another swing of threatened to cut his chest. “What are you even talking about?! Ivan is the head of this organization!” Or so he had always thought, but from the look of superiority in Yao’s eyes, this was not the case. “When I took him in, we made the agreement that he would act as a figurehead and I would run the empire. Every decision, expect for the ones about involving you and Kirkland, was made by me.”

“So he’s just your puppet?” Alfred snarled, steadily growing to hate this man more with each passing second. Ivan hadn’t been the only one responsible. In fact, if what Yao said was true, he was, in some twisted way, trying to protect Alfred. This steeled the American’s resolve even more and he took aim with his good hand to handicap the true crime lord. He fired two shots, one missing due to the speed of the small man and the other clipping against his shoulder. Yao did not let his injuries slow him though as he sprinted forward, slicing Alfred calf. He faltered at the sudden pain, yelping when a small, but powerful hand shoved him up against the back wall.

“I have grown tired of humoring Ivan’s attachment to you. You have broken my empire and cost me most of my most loyal men. This time, I am not letting you live.” The furious man raised the sword over his hand and brought it down hard, intending to end this all in one final move. Alfred braced himself for the pain that was inevitably about to come, but it never did. Slowly he opened his eyes and looked up to see that the sword had been stopped by a large hand, blood seeping down from where the blade had made contact. “You promised not to harm him.” Ivan’s rang out, breaking the stunned silence. “You promised if I would do everything right, you would spare him, no matter what.”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:10 am

Toris had greeted Ivan when he came back, he looked rather annoyed, but Toris kept his mouth shut and simply greeted the man back. He hurried back to Raivis and Eduard, to simply be comfort to each other. They had silently been cheering Alfred on and helping keep Arthur alive and sane. Still they still want everything to be done and over with. They really wanted go home back to their friends and families. At least they could send letters and keep some from of contact going and tell everyone they were okay. Toris had sent a letter to Arthur's family, clearly saying he himself couldn't write at the time, but he was fine, and Arthur promised to write when he could again.

When the sound of gunshots rang through the house, everyone jumped into some kind of motion. Raivis started shaking like he usually did when he feared something. The poor boy wasn't originally that bad, Ivan had made him that way. Eduard quickly took to trying to calm him down, giving Toris a look to see what was wrong. Toris gave a not and departed from them. The guards in the house were running around rather uselessly, that or they were trying to find out who let someone slip through. Toris took up the stairs as a few seemed to be depart down it with looks that told Toris they had been ordered down stairs. He ran faster up the stairs.

The sight that meet Toris' eyes was not a pretty one. He was not use to see the oriental man and Ivan being at such odds with each other, usually they got along rather well. His green eyes feel on Alfred on the floor. So much for meeting under better situations. Toris thought, as he rushed over. He grabbed Alfred and dragged him away slightly. "Nice to see you again." Toris said and he leaned Alfred against a wall and tried to find something to tend to his wounds with.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:37 pm

Alfred had not managed to wrap his head around the situation even when Toris made his appearance. He continued to stare, dumbstruck at the two men currently glaring at each other even as the small brunette pulled him away. His wounds began to throb terribly and blood trailed down his side and arm, but he paid them no mind. Tension rose as Ivan stepped back, allowing the bloody blade to slid out of his hand. “This is not what was agreed upon,” He said, motioning to the wounded American beside him.

That snapped him back to reality. Alfred pushed Toris away and struggled to his feet, never minding his own injuries. “Ivan, what the hell is this? Why are you letting this guy boss you around?” Yao flashed him another threatening glare, but Ivan prevented him from lunging forward to initiate another attack. “Come on, you’re not the Vanya I remember if you’re letting him control you. You’re not some kind of puppet!” Alfred was angry, angrier than he could remember ever being. He may have been terrified of Ivan when they were children due to some rather strange circumstances, but damnit, he deserved better than the life he had been forced into.

The Russian turned to look at Alfred, his eyes surprisingly soft and filled with childish hope and confusion. The sheriff smiled at the sight. There he was - that was the Vanya he remembered. He stepped forward and reached down to take Ivan’s hand, tugging him away from the crime lord. “Come on. This is over now. You don’t need to stay here. You can start a new life.” The Russian slowly stepped beside him, keeping his hand clutching the American’s tightly, looking very kidlike with his sheepishly hopeful expression. Alfred grinned and gave his hand a squeeze before turning back to face Yao. “As for you, you’ve done enough damage. Your empire is broken and you have nothing left. Just come quietly and no one has to be hurt.”

Yao shook his head, letting his sword drop down to the ground. “You think I exposed myself to you without a backup plan? You are a moron Jones.” The oriental man looked up and smiled, looking wise and kind, contrary to all his actions previously. “You can waste your time trying to contain me or you can save Kirkland. The house he is staying at is rigged with dynamite. You have ten minutes to make a decision before my men blow the building to kingdom come."
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:25 am

Toris was seriously about to object, but the American was yelling and seemed rather angry that Toris kept his mouth shut. He seriously needed to tend to his wounds, or just enough to stop the bleed. Toris is no doctor, but he had at least stop the bleed for someone so they can be moved and treated a later time. Eduard was the one who had more skills in actually treating people, at least if he tended to someone they could wait a day and be fine. It wasn't helping that Toris couldn't find much to help him, and he was trying to at least listen in on what what happening. He stopped when he heard the last thing Yao said. It was at least clear to Toris the choice Alfred was going to take. Toris knew there wasn't much he could do to help, he wasn't as skilled at fighting as Yao, and in the whole ordeal about what was going he was still confused. "Alfred, I'm sure I can get some of the men to help handle Yao." Toris said, glancing at Ivan than Alfred.



The room Arthur was staying in was rather bare, but it was at least clean and had a bed, Arthur wasn't going to complain. There wasn't a window, it was just sort of an odd room, maybe a large closet, that no one knew what to do with so they made it room. Sarah had said something then she was adjusting his wig and pinning it tightly to his head and trying to make it look like it was Arthur's real hair. Of course Arthur wasn't paying much attention, and he didn't really care. For all he was concerned the room had a bed and Arthur hadn't seen a bed in...well forty-days. It probably wasn't going to be the most comfortable, but it was sure as hell going to be better than the cold floor.

Arthur sat down slowly on the bed, the corset was restricting a lot of his movement. He kicked the heels half-way across the room, not caring he would have to fetch them in the morning. He leaned back on the bed, before turning and laying flat on the bed. It was not in the least bit comfortable, but it still was beating the floor. The moment Arthur laid down his head was spinning. It was odd that Ivan, came to visit him to see if he had arrived, usually it was Yao. Something wasn't right, and his want to find out was not allowing him to fall asleep. He groaned and rolled on his side with a but of a huff. He repeated the moment every time he didn't feel sleep pulling at him. He figured maybe it was the rather noise crowd out in the saloon. He stained his eyes to listen, closing his eyes in the dim room to hear better. The crowd didn't sound rowdy, they sounded scared.

He was urging himself to fall asleep when he heard the sharp sound of the lock on his door. His green eyes snapped open and he turned to face the door. Bloody hell.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:39 am

The second Yao gave him his ultimatum, Alfred knew precisely which route he was going to take. It seemed everybody in the room knew as well from Yao’s confident half smile to Ivan’s grim expression. No matter what, Arthur came first and everybody knew it. When Toris addressed him, the sheriff turned back and offered him a grateful smile. “Thank you. I will come back as soon as I am able,” He said before turning away and making his way back down the stairs. A hand on his shoulder prevented him from making it though and he tilted his head back to see who had stopped him.

Ivan stared down at him, his lilac eyes full of concern colored with a surprising amount of fear. “Fredka…” Alfred stopped him with a quick smile. “It’s okay. You can do this, I know. When I get back, we can talk more, okay? But for now, just keep yourself safe.” The large Russian looked stunned by Alfred’s statement, but a small, gentle smile began to tug at his lips. “Da. You as well Fredka.” The moment passed smoothly and the sheriff quickly left the house to find Arthur.

Matthew and Francis were waiting down the street, confused and concerned when Alfred appeared, bleeding and frantic. There wasn’t time to explain what had occurred in great detail, so the two simply followed after the American, only picking up bits of information as they raced back to the brothel house. It had taken only five minutes to return, but it was far too long for Alfred’s sanity. In front of the building were a collection of women, young and old, hugging each other as a group of men dressed in black moved in and out of the building, stacking boxes on top of each other inside. Alfred looked over the group of women, trying to pick out a male figure among them, but could not. That meant Arthur was still inside.

“I’m going in to find Arthur,” He said, leaving no room for discussion. It didn’t matter that he would be going up against armed men who no longer had a reason not to shoot him down. He was going to save Arthur no matter what. Thankfully, Francis and Matthew had learned by this point that there was no stopping the thick-headed man and had already armed themselves for the fight that awaited them. Without wasting another second, Alfred pushed passed the open door and began firing.

Within seconds the brothel house was a mess of confusion. Women screamed and bullets flew through the air. Somewhere behind him, he could hear Francis and Matthew moving behind him, keeping a tight formation long enough for Alfred to force his way passed the main room. “Arthur!” He shouted over the sound of guns firing and panicked yells. He raced down the long hallways, searching desperately for some sign of the British man. “Arthur! Where are you?!”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:48 am

Toris' brain was spinning as Yao took off and Ivan took after Alfred. He figured there was some people who knew Ivan wasn't in charge, but not everyone in the house and most of them were too afraid to question Ivan and his orders. Toris grabbed the Russian man when he was done talking to the America, it felt weird, but this was one hell of a revolution. "Lord Bragniski," Toris was too afraid say Ivan. "Yao made it look like you were in charge and that's a mistake he made, because most of the house things that, and a lot of them them aren't going to question you." Toris said, if the whole house was against Yao, he couldn't get far and most people wouldn't get in they way. "If you give the order to find Yao, you can help Alfred out more." Toris said before pulling the Russian over to the stairs, and giving him a grin to go through with the plan.



Arthur hurried to the door as fast he could (the corset had slowed him down greatly, and not done much for his grace). His body was utterly exhausted, and his mind just wanted sleep, but his fear of what was happen has shoved that all way. He rattled the door, it was clear waste of his time, and his logic was scream at him that it was, but he still tried desperately. Then he pounded hard on the door and shouted till it hurt and he gave a cough.

Everything was useless and he sank to the floor, gripping his sides. The corset was tight and he cursed the woman who helped put it on, surely she could have been a bit kinder and not done it so tight on him. Arthur gave out a shaky breath, it could be nothing an he's over reacting. For all he knew it could have been a robbery or some bounty hunter running after a bounty and scaring some people all the way. Surely the locked door was just to make sure he didn't think about running. There was nothing to get so excited over, he's just over reacting, and he should just curl up in bed again at sleep. The water torture he probably made him overly paranoid about everything that was going on around him. It would have been easier to think if gun fire hadn't started going off.

Arthur got to his feet and backed away from the door at the sharp sounds. Everything in his right mind was tell him to get away from the door as much as he could. However Arthur was hardly in his right mind, yes he moved away from the door our of free, but he moved back his he heard people shouting for him. People, not just Alfred unlike his dreams, one of the people sounded like Alfred and that was enough for Arthur. He rattled the door and pounded on the door, but his throat had failed him from his previous shouting. He truly felt like a damsel in distress and he sure as hell probably looked like one.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:26 am

Ivan watched as the American ran down the stairs and out of his line of sight - out to save the very man he had single-handedly tortured to the brink of insanity. And yet, he was willing to speak with him, to smile for him. Unidentified emotions bubbled up into his chest, spreading warmth throughout his body. He smiled lightly as he turned his attention to the short brunette beside him. Ah Toris, he had always liked Toris. He was afraid of him yes, but he was never cruel or unkind with his words like others had been. “Da, I see,” He agreed, lightly patting the brunette on the head as he allowed himself to be pulled towards the stairs. The light grin on the Lithuanians face startled him, but he found himself quite liking the way it looked. It was much more welcoming than the look of terror.

Ivan grinned back and slammed his hands against the top banister. “Listen up!” His voice was light, but left absolutely no room for argument. He didn’t have to look down to know that everybody was paying attention to him - they knew better than to at this point. “Find Yao. He is a traitor and a thief. Bring him to me alive.” There was a brief pause before he flashed an icy look to the unmoving group of men below him. “Immediately.” That certainly got everybody into motion.

* * *

Alfred was so focused on trying to find Arthur as quickly as possible, he nearly missed the sound of fists pounding against a door towards the end of the hall. “Arthur!” He shouted, rushing towards the source of the knocking. He pulled at the door handle, cursing when he realized that it was locked up tight. Damn, if only it would be that simple. The sheriff pounded his fists against the wooden frame to alert the other of his presence. “Arthur! It’s me! I’m going to break down the door. Step aside!” He gave the other man time to move away before locking his shoulders and ramming his side against the door. Had the wood been any thicker, this probably wouldn’t have had much affect, but his actions did create a long crack along the sides of the doorframe. Alfred did not waste any time celebrating his victory. From the sound of it, the fight was still raging within the main room, but he did not want to take his chances on how much longer it would be before they blew the place.

“Hang on Artie!” He shouted, throwing his full weight against the door, succeeding on cracking it apart enough for him to tumble inside. Alfred landed in a heap on the floor, groaning at the sudden soreness in his shoulder. Ow, that had not been fun. He inwardly told himself never to do that again unless it was completely necessary. The sheriff stood up, shaking a bit both from his previous wounds and the strain he just caused for his body. He did not let this bother him though as he looked around the room, searching for the man he had come for. “Arthur! We need to…” His eyes fell on a pretty, green-eyed women with long blond hair and a terrified expression. Whoops, not Artie, yet he was always a sucker for a damsel in distress.

“I’m sorry ma’am! Ah…” He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and reached a hand towards the lady. “But we need to get out of here regardless. There are some men outside who are going to blow this place up soon.”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:11 am

Arthur moved away from the door the moment he heard the command. He scrabbled away, cringing at the sound of someone pounding against the door, his mind was spinning, he knew the person trying to tear down the door, yet he still feared the idea. However eventually the door fell through, and Alfred toppled in with it. Arthur watched him get up, and a small frown formed on his lips. The man looked like he couldn't stand another minute on his feet. The Englishman noticed the blood on his clothes, and by their placement he figured it was the American's. Arthur hurried over to the sheriff, being mindful of the door and his bare feet. He wanted to kiss the man so hard, but at hearing his words the Englishman could only deepen his frown.

He held back his wanted to hit the man for thinking he was a girl, but sighed. Arthur had been clean and pushed into a dress and wig, there was no doubt he looked like a woman. A rather flat chested, small waisted woman with somewhat broadish shoulders, be still looked the a woman none the less. Arthur sighed, grabbing Alfred's arm, silently begging him to notice. His throat was soar from his yelling and lack of things to drink. According to Alfred, it didn't seem like they had much time, but he clearly hadn't found Arthur.

Arthur swallowed before open his mouth to speak. "I'm not a woman." Arthur said firmly his grin tightening on Alfred arm. "We need to get out of the house is what you say is true." Arthur said tugging the American down the hall and trying not to let the American escape his grasp.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:54 pm

Alfred was surprised by how strong the women’s grip was. She gave him an irritated frown (that wasn’t very nice, he had just saved her life after all) before pulling him out of the small room and down the hallway. Still, he followed after her, glancing around the rooms they passed in hopes of spotting Arthur. Although he still very desperately needed to find the other man, he couldn’t very well leave a young women alone to fend for herself when there were bad guys with guns and dynamite waiting.

He was just about to voice this concern when the women spoke in a voice that was far too deep to be considered normal. Alfred stopped in his tracks, staring at the person before him with wide eyes. “No way… Arthur?” Damn, how long had he been gone?! How on earth had they managed to transform the fiery Englishman into a brothel girl in that short amount of time?! Granted, now that he knew who the other was, he could pick up on the subtle hints of masculinity concealed beneath the dress and wig, but it was still a shock. He would have been tempted to laugh if they weren’t currently in danger of losing their lives.

“Uh right… we need to get out of here,” Alfred agreed after he got over the initial shock of Arthur cross-dressing. There would be plenty of time for him to explain later, once they got out of harms way. The sheriff gripped Arthur’s hand tightly and began leading the way towards the main room. He could only hope that both Francis and Matthew were doing alright.

When they reached the end of the hallway, Alfred turned to the other man and handed him a pistol. “Just in case,” He said before unhooking the revolver he had on his back. Alfred walked forward cautiously, instantly catching sight of his brother crouched beneath a table in the front and Francis pressed up against the opposite wall, gun pressed to his hip in preparation. There were three of Yao’s men that were still standing and they immediately started firing once Alfred came into view. “Down!” He said, shoving the British man down out behind an overturned table before dropping down by his side. He cured under his breath and glanced over at Arthur. “When I say too, run for the door, okay? I’ll follow after and cover you.”

He was just about ready to jump to his feet and start firing when the sound of the door slamming caught his attention. Panicked, he turned just in time to see a lit torch thrown through the window. “No!” He ran forward to put it out before the rest of the building caught fire but another torch was thrown in from the opposite window and another soon after that. In a matter of moments, the entire front of the house was in flames.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:49 pm

Bloody hell! Arthur thought when the American stopped, but at least he figured out that it was Arthur had he wasn't going to start looking once they had escaped. Still he doesn't say anything more and lets Alfred drag him along. His hand was warm and Arthur starts to feel like this isn't a dream, because there was a lot of factors Arthur could never bring himself to dream about in a rescue. Arthur didn't care where they were going, he just wanted to get out. He quickly got to cocking the pistol Alfred gave him, he wanted to get out, even it wasn't going to be clean and easy, Arthur was going to do anything it takes.

The Englishman gave a bit of shriek when he was shoved into cover, hurrying to get on his feet again, still cursing the corset for constricting his back and stomach. So much was going on around him, Arthur wasn't quiet sure what he was going to do, and then there was fire, and the front door seemed to be going, and his head was spinning more.

Then it hit him. The place had a back door, and Arthur was quiet sure everyone was so sure Arthur was going to go in and out of the front that the back would be left on guards. Arthur whipped around to the direction they had just come down. "Alfred, what about the back door!" Arthur shouted. he was sure there wasn't as many windows as there was in the front and there wasn't much need to be in the back. "There shouldn't be that many people back there."

Arthur collected as much of his dress as he could before he took down the halls.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:20 am

Alfred whipped his head around when Arthur shouted for his attention. Back door? Of course! There was still a chance for them to get out before the barrels of explosives caught fire and sent them all into the next world. “Mattie! Francis!” He shouted, waving at them to follow in the direction that Arthur had ran off to. He waited around long enough to make sure they were following before taking off down the hall. Despite his injuries, he quickly caught up with the cross-dressing Englishman as they raced down the hall. “Where is it?!” He shouted, steadily growing more concerned as the began to rapidly spread throughout the house. Damnit, there wasn’t time for this!

He cursed and grabbed Arthur’s hand as not to lose him again. At the end of the hallway, he could spot a large door, different from the others that lined the building. “There!” He cried, sprinting over to it. However, as luck would have it, there one chance of salvation was locked, keeping the group of men trapped inside the burning building. Alfred swore loudly, grabbed his gun and shot open the lock in his irritation. The wood splintered enough for him to shove his body forward and break down the rest of the door without too many problems. “Let’s go!” He shouted, pulling Arthur out of the house first and followed quickly by Matthew and Francis.

From behind them, he could hear the ominous sound of crackling, signifying that they’re time had finally run out. They only managed to get a few feet away from the building before the first explosion sounded. Alfred quickly threw Arthur to the ground and covered his smaller form with his own. He had only just managed to cover his own face when the building behind them blew apart. Chunks of burning wood rained down upon them, but he did not move for fear of Arthur getting hit. Sharpened bits of wood embedded themselves into his exposed back and legs, causing his body to tremble in pain. When the explosion finally died down, Alfred shakily pulled himself up to check on the man beneath him. “Are you alright?”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:19 pm

Arthur was amazing he remembered where the back door even was. After all he was dragged in blindfolded and bound, and yet he remembered with such ease. Alfred's hand was warm in his, and even he small confused concern from Francis was music to his eyes. The Englishman held the sheriff's hand tightly, slightly out of his growing panic as the American seemed to grow in his anger and worry. But soon enough they were out the door and on the ground. The house seem to explode soon after and Arthur felt his body brace for impact as things started landing all around him. He cursed Alfred in his head for sure there was harm coming to the American from protecting Arthur, though Arthur was still touched he had done as such.

Eventually things died down and Arthur could hear some of the towns people coming out to see what was wrong and then rushing about to at least try and stop the fire from spreading. Arthur quickly turned to sit up the moment Alfred got off him. Arthur could only stare at his love as he asked him if he was alright. Was he alright? Of course Arthur was fine, shaken, slightly confused, forced to live with a bit of embarrassment from wearing a dress, and on the edge of death by corset from his breathing, sure, but still fine. At least in comparison to Alfred, because clearly to some people that what Arthur was was indeed far away from fine. Arthur's hand shot up to Alfred's face, cupping it and bring him into a sharp and chaste kiss on the lips. "I'm perfectly fine, and I should be asking you if you're okay?!" Arthur whispered ans he pulled Alfred into a hug. "What the bloody hell were you thinking!?"

Without warning water was dumped on both of them, causing Arthur to go stiff and his grip to tightening. His mind raced back to the Water torture and he feared when the next drop was going to be, but when people were running passed him with barrels and he realized it was the town people trying to stop the fire from spreading further than it was. Arthur calmed down a bit.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:17 pm

Alfred smiled down at the man beneath him, accepting all too happily the chaste kiss he offered. “I was thinking that I needed to save you,” He said, slipping his arms around Arthur’s form to hold him close. It had been far too long since he had held the other man like this. Their brief meeting in the carriage hadn’t been nearly long enough for him to be satisfied and now that Arthur was back in his life, he wasn’t intending on ever letting him go again.

The sheriff froze when water was dumped over them, but mostly out of shock rather then bad memories. He tilted his head to the side and watched as the townspeople fought to control the fire before it got out of hand. If he wasn’t so concerned with Arthur slipping away from him again, he would have jumped up and offered his assistance. Alfred sat up, pulling the cross-dressing Englishman up as well before looking around. Francis and Matthew were a few yards away, looking worse for wear but otherwise alright. He smiled at the two and gave them a short nod in thanks before turning to give Arthur his full attention once more.

“I think it’s time we got you home,” He said, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. He still needed to contact Ivan and see if Yao had been captured, but at least he knew that Arthur was safe again. When they got home, he would help the man recover fully and they could start a new chapter in their lives. With any luck, they would have a chance to relax and live before the world went crazy again - as it was sure to do. “Go with Matthew and Francis. I just need to check in with Ivan one last time and we can go home together,” He promised, leaning and stealing a quick, gentle kiss. “You can rest now Arthur. It’s over.”
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:22 pm

Arthur grip tightened on Alfred as the Sheriff started to move away from him. However Alfred helped him to his feet, but he still refused to let going of him. Arthur shivered as some water ran down his spine and the coldness of the world around him. He frowned as he listened to the American. He did want to let the American go. First of he was heading back to Ivan and who knew what dangers that hell. Second to Arthur it seemed like the American was just going to collapse. Matthew should at least tend to his wounds or something before Alfred went running off. "No, I'm not going with you brother and that Frog." Arthur said quickly in a girlish voice. If Alfred surely mistakes him for a girl, sure the downs people did as well and they weren't going to question the American much. "You look like you're going to fall at any moment." Arthur said.

Arthur probably looked like he might faint like a woman at any moment as well. The corset was constricting his breath, and Arthur was still struggling to get his breath under control from all the running and action. He glanced at Matthew and Francis in the distance, Matthew giving the Frenchman a quickly look over for any injures, while the Frenchman seemed to be doing the same, that or he was just looking him over like he usually did. He turned back to the American and bit his lip. "Why do you need to check up on Ivan anyway?" Arthur asked, at least trying to figure that reason why. Surely the man just blew up the brothel house like it was nothing. Arthur oddly wanted to know why that would cause Alfred to want to check up on him again.

"Alfred, was Arthur moved, I was quite sure I was going to have to pull you away from the burning building." Francis shouted as he moved towards them. Arthur let out a grunt, surely if the Frenchman was mistaking him for a woman everyone was. He was at least proud he chose to spoke like a female in public.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:27 pm

Alfred fought back the urge to groan when Arthur immediately refused to follow the other two to safety. Why did he have to insist on making everything so difficult? He understood that the other man probably wanted to be sure of his safety, but he wasn’t going to risk his life again! “No, go with Francis and Matthew. I’m not letting you put yourself in danger again for my sake,” He said a bit more harshly than before. Realizing that acting as such was not going to help the situation, Alfred sighed and tried a more gentle approach. “It will be fine. Ivan isn’t going to hurt me. He isn’t what we thought he was… Trust me, I’ll explain more when I have time, but I need to get back and help.”

The sheriff leaned in, pulling Arthur closer to him. Poor thing, he looked about ready to collapse himself with how tight that dress was. When he passed him off to be looked after by the others, he would have them help Arthur out of that uncomfortable thing. “Please… just wait with them for a little while. I wont be gone more than an hour,” He pleaded, pressing a tender kiss against his forehead. Thank goodness for small wonders. If Arthur hadn’t currently been dressed up as a women, the two would probably be faced with some problems for that public display of affection.

Francis’s shout from behind him prompted him to turn around. Both the Frenchman and his brother walked over to him, both wearing the same look of confusion on their faces. Oh right, they probably didn’t recognize Arthur in his little getup (not that he could blame them - he hadn’t either). “Well you see… Arthur’s kind of right here,” He explained, motioning to the ‘women’ beside him. Neither of them seemed to understand at first, but slowly, realization began to show in their eyes. Matthew flushed and looked away while Francis, being the irritating jerk he was, laughed and proceeded to flick at Arthur’s ponytails. “You make a cute girl, mon cher ~ I would not have recognized you if it hadn’t have been for your eyebrows.”

Alfred flashed the man a warning look before gently handing over the injured man to his brother. “Take care of him and wait for me at the meeting point. I’ll be back within the hour.” He flashed Arthur a confident smile before turning away. There was still work that needed to be done.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:28 am

The Englishman cringed at the harshness, he's ears were use to hearing such a tone, but not with Alfred's voice. It startled him a little, and his hold faltered for a second, but then Alfred was gentle again. Arthur happily allowed himself to be pulled close to the American, he didn't want the other to pull away but he had. "If you're gone any longer than an hour, I don't care what you say, I'm going after you or something!" Arthur snapped sharply as Alfred turned his attention back to Francis. He wasn't sure if he could go after himself, or not, for all he knows Matthew could set Arthur down on a bed and he would be passed out asleep. Arthur listened to their conversation, frowning a bit more as it progressed.

Arthur happy whacked Francis across the face, someone would figure there was a good reason for a woman to slap a man and no one would ask. Arthur glared at him has the Frenchman quickly took shelter behind the doctor. It's not like it had been Arthur's choice to be dressed like a female, he had a feeling eventually the woman would have been talked into it, even if Arthur hadn't said anything. Arthur is not willing to let Francis go about being his usual self, and the Frenchman is lucky Arthur had kicked his heels half way across the room, and hadn't bothered to pick them up.

Alfred handed Arthur to Matthew, the twin taking hold of him lightly. Arthur attempted to grab for Alfred, he didn't wanted him to go so soon, but Matthew held him back with surprising strength, or maybe Arthur was just weaker than he would have liked himself to be. Matthew spoke to him gently as he tugged Arthur in the opposite direction. "If he's not back in the time he promised, Arthur, I assure you that either Francis or I will person investigate, but for now, just come with us." For some reason Matthew's words made Arthur calm down some and he started to walk along with them. Francis and Matthew lead them to small abandoned farm house not too far off from the down, but just enough to be far away and safe. Matthew helped him out of the dress and corset when Arthur did almost faint on them. He tended to Arthur, while the Englishman waited.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:12 pm

The fact that Alfred made it back to the house as quickly as he did with the injuries he sustained was incredible, but he did it. Arthur was now safe, but Ivan was still in need of his support, so he had to do everything in his power to help the misunderstood Russian. He could only hope that in his absence, they had at managed to find Yao before he slipped away. But for some reason, he doubted that this would happen. Yao was smart and even if Ivan’s followers had him in custody, they needed to be careful when dealing with him. He was a successful crime lord for a reason.

The house was in chaos when he returned. Alfred walked through the open door and was immediately stunned by the sheer amount of people that were rushing about. Something had happened from the looks of it and it had not been in Ivan’s favor. Without needing to be told where to go, Alfred pushed his way through the men who had gathered around the staircase. His heart nearly stopped when he caught sight of a familiar figure on the floor. No, no! He couldn’t be too late. Ivan couldn’t be…

“You saved him then?” Alfred blinked in confusion, watching as the tall Russian stood, clutching his side painfully. Ivan gave him a smile but did not move closer to him. There was blood seeping out from behind his hand, but contrary to what Alfred’s original fears had been, it seemed as if the other man was not in any danger of losing his life. From the appearance of the house, he could only assume that Yao had escaped. “Yeah I did. Sorry I didn’t make it back in time to stop that from happening.” Alfred said, glancing down at his bleeding side. Ivan simply waved him off and motioned for him to step closer . The young sheriff did so and allowed for the other man to lean heavily on him for support. Together the two injured men pushed past the crowding men and made their way into a private sitting room.

Alfred helped Ivan onto the couch, seating himself in the armchair beside him. Both men were beaten, bleeding, but victorious in the sense that they had managed to survive this whole ordeal without dying. If only it wasn’t tainted with the bitter knowledge that the true criminal had slipped away once more. Although there was much that needed to be discussed, namely how to pull Ivan away from the world of crime forever, but neither of them could find the energy to speak. For the moment, the danger had passed. “Come with me if you want,” Alfred said after some time had passed. “I can help you get to wherever you would possibly want to go. Or maybe even a job on the other side of the justice system.”

Ivan simply shook his head, a small smile tugging at his lips. There was too many people that either feared the Russian or wanted him dead for him to ever make a proper living out in the west. Plus the forty days he had spent with Arthur would not inspire good memories or feelings between the two men. No, they both knew it was better to part ways and hope for the best.

After the two had recovered some of their strength (and been bandaged up by one of the houses medics) Alfred was preparing to leave. The two had come to an agreement of sorts that Ivan would be heading for the east coast along with his sisters in hopes of starting up a respectable profession while Alfred remained in the west and continue his search for Yao. The two had promised to keep in contact and if they were ever in any trouble, they would not hesitate to ask for assistance. They parted with smiles and a short, friendly hug before Alfred left to meet up with Arthur. Finally it seemed that everything was going to be okay again.

His joy was cut short when a sudden, sharp pain erupted in his shoulder. Alfred pressed a hand against the skin and watched in muted fascination as the blood trailed down. The realization that he had been shot did not come with the panic he had always thought he would feel, but instead he felt oddly calm. He slowly sunk to his feet, the edges of his vision going black. It seemed like he wouldn’t make it back to Arthur before his hour was up. Hopefully he wouldn’t be too upset with him. That was his last thought before his head hit the dirt and he faded away into unconsciousness.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 am

Matthew did a lot of checks on Arthur. He assessed every bruise and cut. According to him, Arthur was in rather good shape seeing as how he was tortured and not feed properly. Francis made a small meal for Arthur, and Arthur drink at least two cups of water while it was cooking. The meal was gone in no time at all, and Arthur didn't care if he had had good manners or not. Arthur tried to insist on waiting for Alfred, but it was clear he was fighting off long needed sleep, and Matthew ushered him to a room. The moment Arthur's body hit the bed it curled up and relaxed. Matthew grinned, but the Englishman still seemed to fighting more now. "Sleep Arthur, I'm sure Alfred will be here soon and I don't think he'll mind finding you asleep." Matthew side patting down the sheets of the bed, tucking Arthur in just a bit more and making sleep harder and harder to battle.

"How long has it been?" Arthur asked sleepily, but Matthew never got a chance to answer for the Englishman suddenly fell asleep.

The twin doctor walked out of the room, happy the Englishman was at least getting the rest he needed, and found Francis pacing. The twin raised an eyebrow, but he knew an hour had passed not too long ago. With a nod the two silently agreed Francis would go looking, while Matthew stayed with Arthur should something happen in his sleep. It didn't take long for the Frenchman to strap a gun to his side, kiss Matthew on the forehead, and be out the door. Francis broke into a brisk jog, noting wanting to miss anything, but not wanted to be slow either.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:03 pm

Alfred and Francis never did quite see eye to eye. Given the fact that Francis was his brother’s lover, the American found himself searching for faults more often than searching for reasons to accept him into his life. He was too loud, too perverted, too French, not to mention his dealings with Arthur didn’t exactly help him gain Alfred’s favor. Still, during the month they traveled together, they had managed to reach an unspoken understanding between each other. Whether they liked each other or not, they were now apart of the other’s lives. Alfred agreed to tolerate Francis as long as he protected his brother and Francis did the same in order to make Matthew happy.

Despite their tentative relationship, neither man wanted the other put into harms way. When they had gotten into scrapes, the two had fought for each other and had developed a solid partnership in their mutual desire to set Arthur free. Although they still had trouble getting along during rest periods, they would always have a bond when it came to fighting.

Which is why when Francis happened upon Alfred’s still form lying in the middle of an empty street, he immediately unhooked the gun from his hip and took cover. He frowned when no attack immediately came and rushed forward to check on his fallen comrade. There was a bullet wound in the back of his shoulder, but he appeared to be alive at least. From the amount of blood that was staining the American’s shirt, he could guess that it happened fairly recently, although his attacker no longer appeared to be around. The former thief growled both in irritation and anger, but ripped a long strip off the bottom of his shirt to wrap Alfred with. “This is the best I can do for now mon cher. Now, let’s get you back to your brother.”

With a grunt, Francis managed to lift the fallen man enough to loop one of his arms around his neck. Alfred was larger and much heavier than him, but he had no choice but to half drag his unconscious form back with him. It would be a miracle if he didn’t bleed to death before they made it, but Francis knew the American was too stubborn to die like this. He grunted and shifted Alfred’s weight slightly, cursing in rapid French as he made his way back to Matthew.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Crocky Kirkland on Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:11 pm

The worry of his brother was eating at Matthew, and he tried to focus on Arthur enough to keep it just out of reach to keep from pacing about the house. Arthur seemed to be rather fine as he slept, there was no physical problem for Matthew to tend too. Arthur's belly seemed happy with the meal and water he had downed with ease. The only thing was a few small night terrors here and there, that had just caused a small shift of moment or a scowl, but nothing Matthew could really tend too. Matthew may be a doctor but there was only so much he could do for a patient whose mind was plagued with the past and terrors. Eventually Matthew found there was no need for him to watching over Arthur has he slept. Alfred would probably thank him, and Arthur is rather important to his brother, and not exactly like the horror stories Francis had told him about the Englishman. Of course it was rather clear to him the two had a rather love-hate relationship towards each other, very much like Alfred and Francis.

Matthew sighed, in reality both brothers had rather good reasons to not like the others love. Both were former thieves, and one could only wonder what the thought about in their spare time. Yet it was clear that no harm would ever come from the two towards either Alfred or himself. There isn't much Matthew can do, but Francis and Alfred at least get along on most days, so there is nothing Matthew can do.

The sound of French curses alerted Matthew to someone else present and the other twin hurried out onto the porch. There Francis made his way up to the porch with Alfred limply over dragged about. Matthew hurried forward and collected his brother. He didn't have time to look his twin over, but he knew something was way wrong and he had to get Alfred inside. With both of them carrying Alfred in it was quicker and Matthew darted about the hours collecting his things. Happy that Arthur was passed out asleep, because God only knew what the Englishman would do, and Matthew fears beeing overly forceful with the Englishman will just be ten times worse than anything else they could do. He got to work cleaning and stitching up his brother's wounds, as well as treating the burns and any other injures he felt needed his attention.
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Re: This Town is Big Enough...

Post by Sheriff Jones on Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:35 pm

Alfred awoke in pain. Somehow, despite the amount of blood he had lost, he managed to regain consciousness in the middle of Matthew’s treatment. White hot flashes of pain focused mainly around his shoulder nearly knocked him back out with their intensity. He began thrashing and crying out, desperately needing something to cool the excruciating sensations that were coursing through his body. Somewhere above him, he was aware of Matthew trying to hold him down, to comfort him long enough to finish up. This did not help for the man was only half aware of his brother’s presence, far too focused on the pain to comprehend anything else.

A pair of hands shoved him flat to the ground, an opened bottle pressing up against his lips. He struggled away from it, but before he could pull back, the bottle tipped and he was forced to swallow the liquid or choke. The liquor burned his throat and did little to soothe his immediate pain, so another bottle was brought up for him and another until Alfred was numb to everything. He lay dazed against the floor, watching the blurry figures of his brother and Francis moving around and tending to him. He was uncertain about how much time had passed before the two lifted him up. Alfred swayed badly, but thankfully did not have to rely too much on his own feet as each man took one arm and lead him slowly out of the front room. The sheriff tried to ask where they were going, but his tongue was too thick for him to make any noise besides gargled nonsense.

They lead him into a small bedroom, just down the hall where he had been kept previously. The only thing in sight was a bed with a small table beside it. He grinned stupidly, glad to be allowed to sleep, but blinked in confusion when he saw that the bed was already being occupied. As Francis and Matthew carefully laid him down, he slowly began to recognize the other man. Arthur, his mind supplied through all the haziness. Arthur was here waiting for him. Arthur was alright. He smiled and managed to reached down and grasp the sleeping man’s hand, grinning like a fool. To his right, he could see his brother and Francis watching him, concern evident on their faces although they did not voice it. Alfred ignored them however in favor of focusing his entire attention on the sleeping man’s face. He continued to stare until his own eyelids began to fall as exhaustion overcame him. Alfred continued to clutch Arthur’s hand as he drifted away into slumber.
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