Title: Perambulations
Time Period: June, 134 A.E
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Fletcher Cruikshank goes to be one with nature as only cruikshanks do. Algernon follows out of necessity.

The rain has let up to the point of sunshine coming over the mountains and through a patchily clouded sky, dappling~ as sunshine does through thick leave forest cover. Every now and then, a leaf full of water tips beneath its own weight and gives, an echo of the rainfall just prior.

It could also be warmer, but then again, this is Scotland. That is always the case.

Booted feet pick over the wilder terrain, and Fletcher Cruikshank had attempted before to go without, but it became quickly uncomfortable. Impractical, really. The rest of his clothing is, however, bundled into his coat which is in turn bundled to clasp in a fist, while his other hand absently touches and scrapes nails against the bark of the damp trees he goes by. A magpie clips by him over one bony, bare shoulder, almost catching his eye with wingtip before darting up into the canopy. This isn't a thing to phase him, barely batting said eye as he stops at the tree the bird in turn stopped in, a hand creeping out to a slender, young branch just above his head. He tests it, fresh rainwater lancing down in silver shiver, before he continues to move on.

"You know, if I get lost, and then eaten by wolves, you'll be really lonely," he says, absently, presumably to the bird. The only other thing he is wearing, besides the boots, is the pendant of twisted wolf skin against his chest, dangling from his neck with a length of thin black leather cord. This is apparently enough against the offenses of the world — more so than clothing.


Algernon's voice issues forth from something like five o'clock, and he too is dressed down. Only in a waistcoat and dress shirt and trousers and pocket watch, so far. And boots. No hat. It's early yet, for all that his toilet seems mostly in order. "I'm sure I'd find some way to manage."

Hard to tell exactly how long he's been following, although — there's still steam left to rise from the tin mug of coffee he's wielding in his right hand, moustache bristling over the rim when he lifts it to sip.

He says nothing of nakedness, or the hour, or the rain. But he does look down about the region of Cruikshank's ankles, and then up again. A resigned work around his mouth when he glances away sideways is acknowledgement enough. "Big of you to consider the ramifications of your pre-dawn perambulations, though."

Cruikshank twists around to greet the voice he was not expecting, everything in his hands promptly dropping as if that were some sort of— practical reaction. There's a few moments there where he makes an execution decision between shame and the lack of it, before choosing the easiest option. He rocks up onto toes, then back onto heels, arms folding together and a chin resting in palm. "No need to be modest," he says, with the slightest hint of self-awareness ticking punctuation at the corner of his mouth. "I'm sure you'd be just fine."

He points. "Bring any of that for me?"

Algernon's brows acquiesce to his own magnificence for him — a slightly sleepy pull and tilt emphasized by a slower angle at his shoulders.


He sips his coffee again, neither encouraging or discouraging rocking motions and all associate. Associations. It is uncomfortable and dreary and damp in the forest, he thinks, glare leveled flinty grey full ahead. Mind firmly elsewhere. He did not bring his umbrella.

His free hand settles on the butt of his gun instead, a long-barreled revolver holstered slack at his belt. Demonstrating, perhaps, the physical impossibility of there being Coffee for Cruikshank. His hand is clearly full of gun, so that — while his presence here may not have been expected, his answer must be.



Well. Cruikshank reeeaches down, then, to collect up his things, pendant swinging as he goes to shake out his coat, a thing that has been patched and repatched and relined over the course of a few years. There's a flutter and a soundless impact of landing, the dapper black and white flash of magpie landing not so far from Algernon to regard him with a beady eye, as if searching for trinkets or anything small and peckable while her companion is otherwise occupied. "I do have a second set of eyes in the sky, you know, I was quite alright." But his voice is indulgent and dismissive.

Alarming as it is, he could use the stalking.

"Though, she didn't spot you," he concedes, giving Shade a look as he threads spindly arms into coat sleeves. Making a show of conversing with his familiar, outside of the usual telepathy, is a habit, for all that Algernon is difficult to impress at the best of times.

Swinging, yes. Algernon sniffs to himself and looks as (subtly) directed to the flirt and flutter of feathers that is Fletcher's familiar. Her eyes certainly are beady — enough so that, after a moment's steady measure, Fogg reaches warily up from revolver to take up the suspension of his pocket watch in his palm instead.

"Can she understand human speech?" is, ultimately, not the most flattering expression of curiosity man or bird has suffered.

Shirt and pants are evaluated, before deciding the latter aren't a terrible idea. They are set about to be put on, a bit awkward with the width of boots to shove through woolen tubes, but not impossible and much better than the arduous task of taking them on and off. Cruikshank's brows draw together at the question, some mixture of pity of ignorance and avid interest in equal measure. "Oh, of course. In fact, she likes nothing more than understanding human speech." His loose shirt is shoved into a deep pocket, ducking in and around the branch he'd been testing.

He grips it with both hands, braces a boot against the trunk of the tree, and pulls. It doesn't snap easy, splinters and shreds at the stress of it. Tug, tug, leafy rustled tug. "Not much of a reader, though."

"Of course," echoed more to himself, Algernon is distracted for the time it takes him to crane a half-hearted frown down after the cuffs of his own trousers, which have gone a bit damp against the leaf litter. As for Cruikshank's, he is blandly grateful for their application in his periphery regardless of the state they must be in.

For a moment it looks as though he might say something to Fletcher's bird. A brief moment.

Then current company is trying to pull a tree apart and he looks to take that in instead. Sip and swish, bitter black between horsey teeth. A sketch of his mug thumb itches absently after his sideburn. "Well," he says. Another echo. Well. Any earlier in the morning and a sigh would fill out the ensuing beat of silence: "It looks as though the pair of you have everything under control." Sooo. Algernon tips his mug. Cruikshank has put on pants. He evidently considers this enough of a victory that he is willing to withdraw. "I'll leave you to your. Tree." Turning to go.

"It's rowan! Rowan wood, it's a very— "

Cruikshank looks back at the branch, before giving it a last determined tug that has him staggering back some few steps, prize in hand. He isn't moving to follow Algernon, however, more interested in creeping his fingers over the forks of leafy branchlets to trim and prune accordingly. "Very useful," is finished quieter. Shade clicks her beak in Algernon's general direction, before taking light, turning into a smaller wren by the time she lands upon Cruikshank's shoulder. "See you back at camp, then," is offered, with a wave of a leafy frond before Cruikshank turns his back, dropping leaf and twig as he goes.

"You could have said something," is accusatory mutter.