Title: Floorboards
Time Period: January 1, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Three gather to look for Cordelia, and whatever else Jain can get away with.

The waning sun makes it difficult to see inside. Lack of light in lamps electric or otherwise slow the progression from house to house. It's a manhunt; more specifically, a girl hunt. When the gossip spread around the village that Cordelia Ross had gone missing, some of the militia sprang into action. Sanctionned or not. Soldiers get bored.

The tinkle of glass can be heard in the opposite room. No apology from Jain MacCruimein, the man that committed the deed. He's been doing it all day, whenever he feels the need to break something. "Didn't find'er in the pantry. Got some things though, pretty good." Arms loaded with goods, edible and otherwise, he piles them into a stack on one of the softer pieces of furniture. The soldier picks up one of the smaller pots and unscrews the top, dipping his finger in and coming out with a large glob of fruity jam. It's deposited in his mouth before he puts it back into the pile.

It'll be classified as evidence later.

And some of the soldiers happen to be related to the girl. At least one. Bridget has her sword strapped to her back, just in case, but she's been the one climbing up into the attics and tiny nooks to make sure Cordy hasn't been stuffed somewhere. Being the thinner, smaller of the searchers, it seemed natural. Plus, she's got the drive to be extremely proactive.

Coming down from the upstairs part of this particular house, she hears that tinkle and gives a sigh. He's been doing it all night and being of a more honorable sort, Bridget's disapproval has been growing.

"Don't you think you've taken quite enough already? From every other house we've been in?" She asks as she steps over and she even starts grabbing the more valuable looking things out of that sack to put back again.

While there were some that went to bed and woke as always, it being the winter and the new year, much of Dornie was at various parties and sundry until the wee hours of the morning. Given that it is also full of Scots, there were more hangovers to deal with than otherwise. Most had stayed in, even if they woke early in the morn, and so the town's already subdued jostle was slowed to a snail's pace.

When Jorn found himself being shaken awake, it was the afternoon; he had eventually gone back to drinking with the rest of the militiamen, and upon waking, found himself in the home of one, with several others littered about. No memory of having actually gone there, of course, but that is besides the point. Being roused in such a state, the first news he had been told, simply, was that his youngest charge was missing, and since the evening before. Notably, exactly since he last saw her. Jorn cannot help but feel responsible even further, and it has showed throughout the day of searching high and low. The hounds could not scent her far, so he did not attempt it. Nor did anyone see her after the fact, or her apparent escort. They've both simply vanished.

The berserker has been standing vigil on the inside of the front door, out of the sting of waning light and half a mind on the two inside still going over things. Bridget's voice calls him onward into the house proper again, and he immediately sets his morose, angry gaze on the pair, wordless. Even in most of the same clothes as the night before, at least in terms of trousers and coat. The actual costuming part has been stowed somewhere for the time being.

"What now?" Jorn's voice is a growl.

"Evidence," Jain snaps back as he puts the items back INTO the bag. Bridget can return her share later. "Some of this stuff might've seen who done the deed, or even be used in it. You dunno who can do what around here. Could be that one'a them gypsies could get a fortune from some've it."

Not that most of it will make it there, but it's a good excuse.

Unlike Jorn, Jain was on duty when the girl first went missing. Costumed but still keeping a vigil over the town. He feels somewhat responsible, somewhat. His guilt level hasn't stopping him from collecting bits of treasure from almost every house. "You can make a list, if you think it's necessary" he tells the woman, a.k.a. he won't be giving anything back because he has no idea where any of it came from.

"It isn't evidence. She isn't here. There's no sign of her here, all of this can stay right where it is. If we want to go scrying, we can scry the stones in th market square or something." Bridget might be a little snappy, too, but it is her cousin missing. She may not feel the guilt the other two do, but she does consider it her responsibility to get her back alive.

"I don't need a list, I need you to stop collecting things, that's not what we're here for. We're here to see if my little cousin has been shoved under floorboards or in a closet or something," she straightens up as she notices Jorn joining them, and her shoulders roll a little before there's a glance back to Jain. "Just some differences of opinion on how best to conduct a search, is all."

There is a niggling pain in his thigh, and his head is throbbing, and dealing with Jain continuing to be an issue is not on his Things To do Today list. He catches the last part of the conversation on Bridget's side, which makes his mood thicken and his pale blue eyes narrow. About at the same time she says 'floorboards'. His mouth presses flatter than she has ever seen it do before, and Jorn tracks his attention from her onto the younger man.

"This is not a raid, MacCruimein." The northman's jaw grinds a moment. "If you want to steal, do it on your own time."

A glare flashes between the Scotswoman and the Norseman before the highlander rolls his eyes. Pointing a finger to the woman first, he uses his other hand to twist up the top of the bag and tosses it over his shoulder. "If they want it badly enough, they'll come to collect it." There might be a finder's fee involved but Jain doesn't really discuss his non-militia business with the rest of them. Especially not part time help.

Turning toward the door, he makes long strides, his boots echoing loudly through the empty and cold house. "You're wrong, Nord, it's a manhunt… girlhunt if you please. I don't see any of the townspeople bein' too forthcoming with much information. Maybe a few missing items'll jog their memory." This militiaman feels no guilt, about the girl or the stealing, he was sober all night and alert the next morning.

"Maybe that's because they don't actually know anything and this is all completely unnecessary." Bridget looks between them, disappointment spread between them, if for different reasons. But she settles on Jorn eventually, "She's not here."

The news makes her rub a hand over her face as she turns away from them both, and it eventually ruffles through her hair, too. "We need to broaden the search. If she was nearby, she'd be too easy to find. We need to look in the outskirts. Farms and such with lots of hiding places and plenty of distance from nosy neighbors."

Fighting with Jain is not on his list either. Jorn has made his opinion known, and he already knows that the other man is more apt to not give a rat's arse either way. At least Bridget tempers it out, or else Jorn could get uppity; whether if her being there keeps it that way, time can only tell. He gathers the furred cloak closer to him again, frowning deeply and moving aside so that Jain passes him by, before he turns after to leave in suit.

"For all we know they could be of any intelligence." Stupid or smart enough to either keep her close or keep her well hidden, what have you.

"Intelligent enough to take her in plain sight of everyone at the new year's celebration. Glad my duty started after midnight." Jain smirks a little as he glance behind him. It's obvious that the Scot has a clear conscience in the entire affair. He doesn't even pause as he pulls the horseshoe off from over the door and tucks it into his pocket.

"Next house," he calls behind him, not pausing to even glance at the two. "I'm gettin' a bit hungry and there's a fire… I'll assume they're not unwilling to extend some hospitality in return for only a few questions rather than a complete search."

"No Ross would get taken by someone stupid." Bridget looks over at Jain at his reply, and she doesn't disagree, there may even be a bit of accusation in her gaze as she turns to look back to Jorn. "So let's not assume these people are dumber than we are."

When she looks Jain's way again, there's another sigh, but it's followed by a nod. "One more house. And if you two want to look under beds after that, you can. I'll be looking further out."

Jorn makes a point to turn and glance at the number of the house they just left- for if if they come out of this mess with purpose to reimburse. He meets Bridget's glance back with a dour, grumpy one of his own. He's not sure if she's mad at him, or not, so he settles for glaring in return.

"I think that I was pulled from her side on purpose." It helps, just a little, to say it out loud; unfortunately, any information he might think that he has, is completely unhelpful. "I'd been told that someone had taken her home, and if he looked like one of us-" Jorn scowls as he follows, the last set of boots of the three. "It is too perfect."

At that Jain stops in his tracks and turns to look at Jorn. "What do you mean looked like one of us? Someone from Dornie? A man or woman? Hired help?" He looks at himself, then Bridget, then Jorn and lifts his chin. "I dunno if you noticed anything, Nord, but we ain't exactly dressed alike. People know us by reputation and by name… Anyone with a firearm at their side could call themselves militia. Regular people, they don't know different, not unless they can put a face to a name."

Turning on his heel, the soldier adjusts the tartan looped around his shoulder and carries on to the next house. "Until we've got enough of a description of the person that took her, we're going from house to house. Ross, you can carry on to the outskirts if you like but you ain't going to get more information further from the square."

"All I know is, this isn't working. It may be great for your pockets, but it's doing nothing to find my cousin. She's just a girl." Meaning, leaving her in the hands of some strange men is hardly the most desirable situation. Bridget all but stomps out of the house, slamming doors behind her. "And just about everyone was there, even those living further out, any one of them could have seen something."

She looks over at Jorn, too, a hand moving to her hip. "I hope you paid attention to your distraction. If it was purposeful, then she was in on it. And next time you want a night to get pulled away by pretty ladies, let me know and I will come watch over Cordelia. If we get her back." She turns again, her boots taking her loudly to the next house where she bangs on the door. It's possible she's forgotten she's supposed to come off like the nice one.

"Perhaps 'presented himself as' is a far better use of terms." Jorn's response is as snide as can be, considering. "As generic a description as is possible." Bridget, however, he is more ready to round on than he is Jain.

"The only reason I thought to pay attention at all, was that she spoke Norwegian." His temper flares after that, blue eyes flashing, and his voice likely rattling past the front door of the new house. "It will do you no good to force your ire of it on me, and you know all too well that she is as much my kin as yours. Blame me if you wish, but it will not put things right." Jorn's willingness to be blamed says volumes for his guilt, even if he is snarling it.

The amused expression on Jain's face as the two battle between each other is really all that is necessary to express his concern for the matter. Children, unlike familiars, are replaceable. At least in the highlander's eyes. "I think perhaps the both've you should either calm yourselves or go home. Nord, you perhaps should just go home. Kin or not, you ain't doing much good in your condition. If you think the woman you were with was a part've it… try to get a picture or if you can remember anything, write it down. You know your letters, aye? Ross and I will continue on."

As far as the highlander is concerned, the girl's bodyguard really only lends himself to the militia when convenient. "I can search the houses left around the square and in town. Ross, you search the farms on the outskirts. Try to get a better description than someone that looked like he was from the militia, aye?"

"I don't care if she was speaking the Fae tongue and doing a jig over fire. My ire doesn't need forcing on you, it's your job to look after her," Bridget manages to keep from yelling, but only just. it's easy to tell she could go on, but as Jain speaks up, she settles for curling her hands into fists.

She lets out a breath at the plan and rolls her shoulders a bit before nodding. "What I wanted to do in the first place," she says, and she turns away from them both there, presumably to head to the nearest farm.

Even if he tried to explain it, Bridget wouldn't understand. She has never been outside of the isles, let alone the region of Dornie. Jorn would have a hard time expressing his feelings towards the mainland even if she had. Jorn says nothing to Jain, and perhaps unfortunately for anyone that lives nearby, he is beginning to not care what is taken, either physical items or liberties with property. It is a fine, seething rage. Largely at himself- and the people that took her- and Bridget surely does not deserve it.

She will feel the breeze at her side when Jorn picks up his heels and trots past her. His shift is fluid, though the noise of bone and meat is always an odd one. When his stride carries him onward down the road, all that Bridget gets from the departure is a gratuitous view of a giant white hindquarters, four long legs pushing the bear into a steady run.

"Now you've gone and made 'im all pouty!" Jain calls to female soldier as the bear runs by her. His voice carries far enough that both of them can hear. He snerks and shakes his head, adjusting the bag on his back.

A small grey bit of fur rests near his wrist, mostly tucked into his sleeve. It doesn't say anything but Jain knows she's there. "Women, eh? Both've 'em." A quick glance is darted at the tiny creature before he frowns and shrugs his shoulders. "I dunno, I don't think I was ever interested to find out if it stuck to 'is fur."