Employment and Understanding

Title: Employment and Understanding
Time Period: December 26, 134
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Beisdean seeks and gains employment from the widow Fairbairn with a little help from his not-quite friend Luna. A sympathetic employer is a bonus he didn't expect.

The walk to the farmlands is a fairly quiet but civil one, the truce of sorts between Beisdean and Luna tentative and probably reliant on silence. He'd asked for directions to the widow Fairbairn's farm; she had insisted on showing him. He looks tired, having slept very little the night before. Instead he'd sat in a chair and read, finally falling asleep sometime after five in the morning, somewhere in the third act of The Tempest, his forehead crumpling the page holding scene three.

Darklight scampers along in front of the two walkers and investigating anything that might look like it promises a snack before catching up. When the farm comes into view, Beisdean's eyes skim the land and buildings for sight of the widow, then moves toward the house to make his presence known, knocking on the door lightly.

It's not Beisdean's company that Luna was after when she insisted, rather, it was a happy (or not so happy) coincidence. Her shopping list is long, since all of the women of the Dovetail need to eat and it has been her turn to shop for the past week. Needless to say, Luna Owens has been rather lax in her duties. Much to Madame Edme's dismay.

Walking a step or two in front of Beisdean, she doesn't attempt to conversation past some awkward generic comments about the weather. Mention of the previous night is bypassed completely save for a murmured thanks at the beginning of their journey. When they arrive, Luna stands off to the side of the door, eying the barn doors suspiciously.

The day's found Mairi Fairbairn making good progress on her work. While tired, she's finished most things and settled into the house for a good long break. When she opens the door to her house she notes the two with a generous smile. "Hello," she offers simply in greeting, but it's Luna, rather than Beis, who gets her attention for a moment.

"You're from the Dovetail, right? I actually have a package of goods all set up for you. I was going to bring it to you all, but I'm a little behind in deliveries. It's all paid for and taken care of."

"From the Dovetail" is a phrase that once described Beisdean, having spent 12 of his early years at the establishment, and the question earns an instinctive or ingrained nod. His brows rise at the woman standing in front of him — he should know better, in such difficult times, that widows aren't all frail old women.

"Mrs. Fairbairn?" he asks, reaching to pull his cap off his head and bowing slightly. "Aislinn Rowntree suggested I speak to you, to see if you were in need of a hand at all. Just for the winter season until I can travel again." He frowns slightly at that, knowing winter is the time when most land owners need the least help.

Beisdean is given a confused look when he nods before Luna nudges past him and shakes her head. "Yes, Luna Owens, and you do? That's wonderful!" Leather strips are placed back into the little velvet purse that hangs from her belt and she gives the widow a brilliant smile. "I have a list, though, can I add to the delivery if I need?" Giving her companion a quick glance, she raises a hand to his arm and tests his bicep. "You'll be a darling and help me carry it, won't you Baizey?"

In exchange for hard labor, he gets a sweeter smile and a flutter of eyelashes. The prostitute doesn't really expect him to say no.

"I'll look over the list and add anything in that you might be missing," Mairi says, giving a friendly nod to Luna. "It's nice to meet you, Luna." Her focus turns back to Beisdean shortly after, however. She straightens up, looking over at him carefully. "I've been getting periodic help, but I wouldn't mind a hand. Winter's not the busiest, but I'm working on building a bunk so that I can keep hands on a more regular basis. I have to build around the storms, so having an extra hand would be most useful."

Mairi carefully sizes up Beisdean for a moment. "Have you ever worked on a farm?"

Beisdean lifts his head a little as Mairi appraises him. He's tall but lean, but looks like he spends more time indoors than not. "No, ma'am," he says honestly with a shake of his head. "I can take care of animals… I have a horse… but I don't know much about plants and things, I admit. I can build — I built shelves and whatnot for the shop I worked in… Hardly a carpenter, by any means, but you know, I can measure and cut and hammer as good as any man."

He puts his hands in his pockets and shrugs, then adds in an afterthought, "Bookshelves, that is. I worked in a book shop. Mending and printing and selling."

The blonde pulls the list from the velvet purse and passes it absently to Mairi as she listens to Beisdean's self appraisal. She waits for a moment after he finishes before she clears her throat. "Excuse me for interrupting but it seems to me that Mister Skye might have an answer to one of your problems, Mrs. Fairbairn."

He gets a quick glance out of the corner of her eye before she imparts a saleswoman's smile on Mairi. "Beisdean has a horse and as he said himself, he's not so adept at farm work. You are short on time to make deliveries and are behind, why not have Mister Skye make the deliveries for you? I'm sure that's something he'd be able to manage. Also he's very smart, he could take payments for goods for you."

Mairi scans the list for a moment, mentally checking off items as she listens to Beisdean and Luna both. She slowly looks up from the list as Luna speaks, suddenly smiling more broadly. "You, Miss Owens, are quite sharp," she assesses before looking over to Beisdean.

"I could mostly use the help with building and some of the deliveries. The animals need tending to, but they aren't difficult. I can teach you with what I need to know but… Miss Owens is right. Doing some of my deliveries would be a great help."

Frowning at Luna's interruption, his cheeks flush when he realize she's helping him. His eyes drop to his boots while the two discuss his fate, looking up again when Mairi addresses him.

"Thank you, Mrs. Fairbairn," he says, with a nod of his head again, the picture of the dutiful employee, even if he doesn't look thrilled with the position he's being offered. "I'd be happy to help you with such chores. Is there any delivery you'd like me to make on my way back to town, and when would you like me to begin? I mostly just need enough to keep my room at the inn and a little savings for when I travel again in the spring." When, not if.

By now, Luna has become accustomed to acting as Beidean's agent in his employment affairs. Shaking her head slightly, she gives a small huff and clicks her tongue. "Also, he'd like to work toward some supplies for when he travels. He's not a very wealthy man and his home is far from here, he'll need a few week's rations. Would that be possible?"

Reaching into a pocket on the inside of her cloak, she pulls out another list, as well as a few leather strips. "If he's to begin working straight away, I would like to have him deliver the supplies to the Dovetail, as well as this list here. You do sell jams and bread as well, aye? These are for the vagrant camp along the outskirts of Dornie. I should have enough writs to cover that list as well as the rest of my own."

That business done, she pulls her gloves a little tighter and gives both the widow and her companion a wave. "Thank you for your time, Missus Fairbairn, and for the supplies. The girls'll be happy to get more've your bread. Goodbye Mister Skye, I hope to see you soon. Missus Fairbairn, I hope to see you at the Mask." For now, Luna skips off the stoop and makes a sweep toward the road.

The widow inclines her head in Luna's direction, a smile wave offered as well. "Will do, Miss Owens. It was a pleasure," Mairi offers, then her eyes return back to Beisdean. She watches Luna's retreat to the road with a curious eye before she turns back to the man in front of her.

"Miss Owens has favorable terms. You can do the deliveries to the Dovetail, and I will see to it that you can get supplies for when you leave in the spring. I have to make the preparations for the worker's lodgings before we can begin building, but I am behind on deliveries, so you can work immediately. I'll make sure packages are prepared and give you a list of what goes where. A few hours a day is probably all that's required until after New Years Day. I'll have more work for you then."

Mairi chuckles. "Mister Skye… does Miss Owens always do the talking for you? She certainly seemed to think you needed help."

His jaw set, Beisdean watches Luna leave as well, then nods to Mairi's terms, then shakes his head at the last question. "Not at all, ma'am. I'm very capable of speaking for myself. I'm not sure why she felt it necessary to speak on my behalf, except that we were friends when we were children, and she was a friend of my late mother," he murmurs, voice quiet and reserved.

"Now that she's gone, however, I should warn you… you're new to town since I left it, so you don't know who I am."

He pauses. "What I am…. which is to say, I'm a mage, of sorts, and once in a while it might… I might be a bit odd because of it."

If Beisdean said anything before 'mage', Mairi didn't hear it. She's captured onto one particular word and it wasn't she was expecting. "You're… a mage?" She stares at Beisdean for a long moment. "There's nothing wrong with that. And if you're odd… that's alright. Some can hide things better than others."

She smiles softly, almost excitedly. Still, she doesn't elaborate. Or, she doesn't plan to until she speaks suddenly. "Mister Skye… if I am ever to warn you of a storm, please… heed it. Sometimes the storms can be sudden and fierce and my husband was lost when he was making a delivery. I would rather my new worker not suffer a similar fate."

Beisdean bows his head to her request. "Thank you. I'm sure others will tell you enough stories about me, but since I was here last, I've learned to cope with … things… better. In fact, no one knew I was a mage in England, but I can be a touch distracted at times. I'll get my work done, though, I guarantee it. And I will heed what you ask, be it a chore or a warning, ma'am."

He pauses and then adds, "I am sorry for your loss, ma'am. I'm sure it's been difficult. Aislinn Rowntree was the one who suggested I ask you if you needed help; it was clear she held you and the work you do in high regard."

He gestures beyond her. "Do you want me to bring the package to the Dovetail now? I'll be sure to bring Iago back with me next time, to make deliveries easier."

Mairi looks back to Beisdean seriously, letting out a soft breath. "It has been a number of years, but it makes me take the winter storms very seriously. I appreciate that you'll heed the warning. Do not worry about your magic. If it distracts you, if you need a break, let me know. You'll find I am quite understanding."

She begins to move for the barn. "It might be difficult to carry on your own, but you may take the box with you since you're headed back. I am sure the Dovetail needs the supplies soon."

Her solemn manner makes him nod in earnest to reassure her. He follows her toward the barn. "Then they shall have them," Beisdean agrees, smiling at her words.

Understanding is something that has been in short supply in his life, and he finds the promise of it a surprising and unexpected gift.