Other You, Other Me

Title: Other You, Other Me
Time Period: October, 134 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Sometimes people are entitled to a little reinvention.

The autumn weather has changed the landscape. Leaves fall of trees and turn colors, the wind has a chill to it that hadn't been there except at night, and even occassional frost forms on patches of moisture near the road. The sun lingers in the sky, still a few hours til dark, and people mill about the town itself. Outside the town it's quieter, but the road still has activity. Couches and carts, other modes of transportation. And feet.

Boot wearing feet are what carries Cas toward the town, looking tired and as if he's seen better days. Wind and walking (and other things) have made his hair wilder than normal, sticking up in various places. He walks with a small stick in hand, twirling it around in his hands. Clothing ragged, he doesn't look like he's a well off individual. But he has a sparkle in his eyes and a smile shows off teeth and he's whistling in a carefree fashion.

There's a lull of activity on the road beneath Constance's feet. Instead of wandering, the girl seems to be taking a rest. Seated comfortably on the grass, her back against a fence post, the blonde seems to be watching the road. Perhaps expecting someone, or maybe just people watching, but she studies the road intently. Her eyes focus on everything moving (even the occasional rustle in the grass from a bug or small creature). While it's unclear her intentions, it does seem clear that her presence is purposeful. When Cas falls into Constance's gaze, she sits up a little more.

"Hey! You there!"

That seems a pretty direct form of address, but Cas ends up nearly dropping the twirling stick in surprise, looking around to see if it's possible he's not the one being addressed. When he sees no one else within likely distance, he looks back at the girl, pointing the stick at himself in a 'me?' gesture.

Or that was the plan, but he overextended his 'me' and ends up popping himself on the cheek.

The wince is rather funny, but he quickly recovers, stepping closer. "Were you talking to me, milady?" he asks outloud this time, trying to ignore the dirt smudge now on his cheek.

Constance laughs when she notes the smack against his cheek, but she covers her mouth in an attempt to be polite and not make it seem like she's laughing at his expense. She settles back against the fence, though she's seated a little straighter. She promptly beckons him in closer.

"You're new here, aren't you? I don't think I've seen you at all before and I'm sure I know most of Dornie!"

Accent alone marks him as not from Dornie, but being unrecognized… that does a good job too. Cas can't help but smile a bit as he moves closer, bending down to sit on his heels off to the side, but facing her. The stick gets planted into the ground, but not dropped entirely. He rather likes the stick.

"I'm new here, yeah," he says in his different accent. "Just got here about a month ago, maybe more, but I haven't gotten to go into the town too often." Today's not even a whole day off, he just didn't need to do anything more after a busy morning.

"Oh, that's wonderful. I love meeting new people," Constance explains, as if that were reason enough for her calling a stranger off the road. "I like to know everyone in Dornie so it's a welcome surprise when there's someone new. I guess you must be a very busy man to not make it into town very often. That's such a shame." She smiles sweetly at Cas and it looks genuine, for the most part.

"Well, everyone's new to me, here," Cas says with his grin turning a little lopsided. "Well, almost everyone. And I'm making more friends every day." Whether they consider him a friend back is another thing to ponder, but for the moment… "My name's Cas Blackburn. I'm from the south, down in England. North England to be exact, but…" England. "I'm guessing you grew up here, miss…?"

Constance smiles more broadly at his mention of somewhere not Dornie. "Oh, that's a ways away! I'm sure it must have been very exciting to travel. I'd love to travel myself but I can't. My poor mother's all I have left and I can't leave her all alone here." She offers for her hand. "I'm Roslind… and yes, I grew up here. Born and raised in Dornie, which is why I said I knew everyone."

"Nice to meet you, Miss Roslind," Cas says, looking down at his dirty hand and wiping it off on his clothes a few times. Even then the hand he presents, fingerless gloves and all, isn't exactly clean.

"It's not as much fun as you might think. Lots of sleeping in trees and caves, hoping that there's no trolls in them— And if you travel alone, it gets really lonely. You start talking to your food or naming sticks." He holds up his stick as an example. "Definitely not recommended for a beautiful young lady like yourself, though."

Clean or not, Constance takes the offered hand and shakes it gently. "Nice to meet you Cas." She taps her chin lightly after a moment. "But I think I'd still go travel, trolls or not. I'd find someone to travel with me and keep me company. Or if I couldn't do that, I'd probably be okay… my dear father taught me how to fight before he passed away. You wouldn't know it, but I'm quite capable. I could handle any trolls that came my way."

"Really? You think you could fight trolls?" Cas sounds impressed rather than disbeliving. "I know I couldn't. You're braver than me. My way of dealing with trolls is to run and hide until they go away— if I'd ever seen one, at least. I think I've heard them, but I don't exactly go looking for things that could crush me." There's a pause as his smile sombers. "Sorry about your dad, but I'm glad he taught you. I've heard it's dangerous up here in the north."

"It's very dangerous," Constance agrees. "But I think my father knew it. He fought a troll once with only a knife and when I was little he'd tell me the story. It was always my favorite." She tilts her head to the side. "Don't worry. If any trolls come after us while we're talking, I'll defend you. You won't have to run and hide. But don't worry about my father, he taught me well and I think he got everything he wanted out of life… although my poor mother almost couldn't bear it. She has me to protect her, though, so all is not lost."

"Oi, I think we're messing up gender rolls in this conversation," Cas says, but from his grin, he finds it amusing rather than insulting. "If you're going to stand and fight I might as well too. I got my trusty stick. It deserves the name 'troll slayer' too." It's said in jest, though, based on his tone.

He shifts so that he's sitting on the ground and not his heels. "You must really love your mother," he adds, smile turning a bit softer.

"I think my father secretly wanted me to surprise the world, that's why he taught me what he did. The world can't prepare for me, but I can be prepared for the world," Constance shifts a little bit, leaning in closer to carefully study the stick. "I think you chose it well. It looks like it should be called 'troll slayer'." Her eyes drift downwards for a moment.

"Yes… I really do love my mother."

The fact that she seems to be humoring him only makes him keep smiling, drawing his legs up so he can plant his feet on the ground, Cas seems to be making himself comfortable too. His arms drape over his knees, as he tilts his head to the side. "So where would you want to go if you could travel? I know this place has ships, you could skip the trolls and go to a port town. But then I guess you have to worry about mermaids and seal people."

Constance shifts positions, sitting up even straighter. "Well, I am sure there are hundreds of places I'd go. It's not we don't know geography, so it wouldn't really be exploring… but you don't always know what's out there. I want to be one of those people who goes places and then comes back and tells everyone what they saw." A pause. "I don't think they're much to worry about. I'm sure mermaids are only dangerous if you flirt with them and the seal people aren't all so bad… but sometimes they can turn out to be real brats. There's always a bad egg."

"There's someone in town who said she was decended from a seal person and she was definitely a brat," Cas says simply, seeming to forget this girl knows everyone in town so knows for a fact who he just insulted. That's one person who makes his smile vanish. For only a moment. "I heard that Norway is a great place to visit. They have vikings there. And… hats made of leather and metal and mail, not horns. The horns are only decoration." He says it matter of factly, even if he grins at the end.

There's a sudden giggle from Constance. "Oh, so you know her too!" The amusement doesn't last long, and it's fairly clear to her that they both understand when it comes to the seal people. She clears her throat, just slightly. "Norway… I'm sure that's a good place to visit, yes. If I went there and there were any creatures with horns that attacked I'd probably make a helmet out of them. As a souvenir. You should always have a souvenir from where you travel. If you ever go back to England, you'll have to bring something good from Dornie."

"You're probably the bravest girl I've met, then," Cas says with a grin, seeming to still believe her words. Even if she isn't very big, really. Not at all what he pictured a warrior woman to look like. "But if I ever leave here, I hope to bring a horse with me. One from here, that I bought. That's what I'm working towards. My own horse. I guess you could call that a souvenir."

"Oh! That's quite a souvenir. I'm sure you'll find one in Dornie. I have a horse. My father gave it to me. Before he died. He died defending Dornie from an attack. I think I get my bravery from him," Constance says, tapping her chin as if she'd never considered where her 'bravery' came from. "Did you bring any kind of souvenir from England? Something to remember it by?"

"Really? You have your own horse? I'd love to meet it one day— I work with horses. If you ever need help training it, or— anything really, I would love to." Cas says, looking genuinely excited for a moment. Even if England is the topic he needs to be switching to. It takes a second. Horses must be his favorite thing in the world, from the way his smile lit up.

Shifting around, he reaches to his neck and pulls out a woven leather strap and pulls out a small pendant on the end. A cross. "This is from my hometown— it was my baby sister's. And I also have a jacket and shirt that was a gift from a girl back where I used to live. She liked dressing me." While his smile isn't as bright, and there's a hint of sadness in his eyes, his voice sounds quite fond.

Constance leans forward to get a better look at the cross. "Ohh," she breathes. "It's pretty. I think I'd keep something like that if I had a baby sister. It's sad I never had siblings. I imagine they'd be wonderful." She settles back against the fencepost. "Do you miss her? The girl, I mean. She must have meant a lot. You don't keep things from people unless they mean something. Even if the something is little, the person's not, you know?"

At first, Cas thinks she's asking about his sister— and then a moment later he wishes she were. For a moment, his smile turns into a grimace that remains around his eyes even as he tries to cover it up with a sheepish grin. "Yeah— I miss her." The sheepishness begins to dissolve, into sadness. But he keeps smiling through it as much as possible. "She wasn't that much older than you— but she was really nice to me. Taught me a lot and… I'd like to see her again, but I— I can't." Instead of looking at the person he's talking to, he's starts poking at the ground with Troll Killer.

"Maybe she's secretly got an adventurer's heart. Maybe she'll come all the way to find you," Constance suggests, then thinks on it for a moment. "But maybe it's better this way. You've left that place and come to Dornie. I think when you go somewhere, you should have a fresh start if you want. I think just starting from scratch would be amazing. You could become whomever and whatever you wanted wherever you went. So if you're sad and you miss her and there's sure there's no way you'll see her…"

Constance leans forward again, looking at Cas squarely. "You imagine there's another you. And that you is there with her and there's a happy ending, but you've got to be the you that's here. And you can be anything you want to be, Cas. Isn't that fantastic?"

The more she says, the less he pokes at the ground with a stick. Cas looks up in the middle of what she says, and stays on her face while she continues. There's hint of moisture in the corner of his eyes, but by the end, he's smiling despite that. "That— " Suddenly there's a small laugh, more an exhale than anything else, and he shakes his head. "I'd never thought of anything like that before. A happy ending for her and another me…"

For a moment, his eyes close, head leaning back as if he's picturing it. The sunlight catches moisture on his cheek before he can reach up to wipe it away, leaning forward as he looks at her again. "It is fantastic. Though I guess if I really wanted to be a new person I would have changed my name. I could be…" he trails off, trying to think of something.

Constance nods, looking back at Cas. "It's a good chance. You've been here a month and not all that many people know you, but you aren't stuck being the Cas you left behind. That Cas has a different ending and you get to be who you want to be here. There's nothing stopping you. You want a horse? You'll do your work and get it." She smiles gently at him. "And I know we were questioning gender roles before, but… it's okay if you need to cry. Even if you're the Here-Cas, some part of you will always want to be the There-Cas and there's no shame in that. Crying helps."

"Helps with what, though," Cas says with a shake of his head, not wanting to go back into the crying, even if he's smiling at the gentleness about her. "I'll be fine," he says with a nod. "And I think I'll stick with Cas. I like my name. My boss already knows it. And you are a very unique young lady." But he can't help but smile across at her. And despite his words, he still has some of that moisture in his eyes.

"I try to be," Constance smiles back at him. "And I like Cas. It's a good name." Her eyes lower after a moment. "I'm like you, Cas. I've got stuff that makes me sad or upset or frustrated, whatever you want to call it, and I've gone ahead and made a new life for myself. Well, I tried at least. But I can't leave Dornie, so my two lives, they just kind of smash into each other. Hard to be someone else when everyone knows you. You've got to try, though. Especially if it makes you feel better."

"Well, I don't know you," Cas offers, head tilting to the side. There's something in his expression that, perhaps, he's doing more than going along with what she's saying. "So if it makes you feel better, you can be whoever you want around me. The town's small enough— we'll probably run into each other again. And as far as I'm concerned you're a Miss Roslind, Troll Slayer Extra Ordinare."

There's something more serious and knowing in his eyes. Maybe he wasn't completely falling for her story after all. But that doesn't mean he can't play along with it.

It's Constance's turn to be a little more than misty-eyed. Unlike Cas, the moisture beads and a few tears trickle down for a brief moment before she brushes them away with the back of her hand. "I like being Roslind," she murmurs. "You're very kind to humor me. You'll have to thank the Other-You for sending you here for me."

For a moment, Cas looks down at his clothes, as if looking for something, in the end he just settles on leaning forward to brush at her tears with his finger. "Humor you about what?" is said with a grin.

Certainly he is humoring her, but some games are funner to play than others. With that, he makes a move to stand up, letting his hand drop away. But her tears seems to have settled his own. Or at least they're no longer noticeably forming.

"Care to walk me into town?" His eyebrows raise boyishly as he adds, "In case a troll shows up."

Constance takes a moment to watch Cas, blinking what's left of moisture away from her eyes. There's a long pause where she just watches him before she smiles. She pushes herself off the ground with some kind of youthful energy, and the fencepost is used as a temporary aid to hold onto while she brushes whatever might be on her skirt off. Raising her chin high, she looks over to her companion.

"Don't worry, Cas. You're safe with me."