Repairing and Making New

Title: Repairing and Making New
Time Period: March 27, 135 A.E
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Cas asks a favour of his employer, with regard to his duties.

The sun streaks through the openings inside the stable, giving extra light that catches on metal and wood and hay. The majority of the muck has been cleaned out of the stables, carted out, still leaving that manure smell, but it's more or less overpowered by fresh hay. For the moment, at least.

Leading one of the horses back into a mucked out stable, Cas Blackburn rubs a hand over the mane gently, as he talks outloud. "That troll's foot was about as big as you— Definitely as long. Could have crushed me if I had rolled the wrong way when I landed. And I threw an apple at him."

The horse blows air in a soft bellow, which he must take as a response cause he laughs, patting the neck. "I know, total waste of an apple. I've been picking some, so if you're really good…"

No one catches Edmund Rowntree talking to his horses, not outside of touches, eye contact, wordless noises. He understands the sentiment, though, and never bothers with correction - he knows it's a thing he might do himself if he had more words that came naturally to him.

So when he hears it, he only hesitates, before continuing what he was doing, bent over a headstall and gripping a hammer. There's the clang of metal striking metal, and it only takes a few swipes for the rivet to flatten and fasten, testing once by him once he tosses aside setter and hammer both to test the leather. "You're back," he observes, bluntly, over a shoulder from the work bench. "I'll be needing you to run to town for a new leather punch. Check the markets for Jackson or his daughter, tell 'im you'll need a number eight.

"Tomorrow," he adds, in case that wasn't obvious, with a glance up to the high windows. It'll be late, by market standards. "I'll give you metal worth its weight."

The voice may surprise him, but there's no sign of actual embarassment at being caught talking to the horse. It's one of his many quirks when it comes to them, and he often has enough words for two or three people… Turning away from the horse, Cas peeks over the egde of the stall, curling his fingers over the top as if he needs to pull himself up a little. Which he probably doesn't.

"Of course, boss," he says, with a lopsided smile that seems more nervous than when he was speaking just to the horse. A healing cut on his forehead is the only visible sign of the troll attack he spoke of, anymore. The limp he had for a few days barely affected his work— "Repairing or making new?" he asks, looking toward the work the boss is doing.

For an instant he seems just a little proud. But it passes quickly as he catches the horse nudging his shoulder.

"Repairing," he says, picking up the leathers and showing them to Cas, testing the endurance of the fix with a tug between his hands. Ordinarily, this kind of task might be turned over to one of his employees, but Edmund generally can't help but fix what immediately needs doing if he is in its vicinity and no one else is. "But I was gifted some leathers by one of Aislinn's patients; thought I might make some new gear out of it."

For her, probably, due to the source, and done prettily, but he doesn't add this detail. "I rarely see you without some badge of injury on your face, I think."

Nervous laughter comes as a response, turning around to pat the horse gently on the nose and push hay down to spread around under the hooves. To soak up anything, more than be eaten, in this case. "This time I fell out of a tree," Cas says, as if the distinction is important. "I don't fall out often— though."

A few moments later he's slipping out of the stall, closing the door behind him and leaving the horse walk around and place the hay however suits. Some horses are picky.

"I'd actually been meaning to talk to you about something," he says, turning around to toy with the latch holding the door in place. A nervous gesture. "Would it be possible to— uh…" His jaw tightens as he hesitates a moment, taking a deep breath.

"You know my last boss never even stepped into his stables if he could avoid it. And I really like that about here— that you actively have a hand in your horses, rather than just… make other people do everything." His words are genuine, but still nervous.

Edmund grunts, and turns his back again. The bridle is loosely folded to compact and set aside, and the next piece set aside as in need of a seeing to is picked up and inspected, investigated with matter of fact hands. "Should've gone into another business," he eventually comments, on the question of the last man to have Cas' employ, as he checks metal features for rust and wear. "What would be possible?"

There's an emphatic nod as Cas agrees with the man about his old boss. As he looks around at the horses his eyes are a wide mix of admiration and respect and a longing. And the need to steady his nerves a bit. "My old boss— he was hard to talk to about things, too, to suggest things. Usually you had to talk to him through people, so I'm… admit I wasn't entirely sure how to… ask this."

That wordy explaination is said while he shifts his stand, fidgets with his hands as if suddenly preoccupied with his sleeves. "I was wondering if it would be possible to train a horse." He opens his mouth more as if he's about to start rambling, but visibly stops himself by closing his mouth and pressing his lips together tightly.

Edmund doesn't pause, or lift his head from his task, by the time Cas gets his words out. The lad is already saying he is easy to talk to, so he makes no adjustments to prove this. There's a clang and rustle as another thing is none-too-gently set aside, and he rolls his shoulders in the way that suggests a little irritation, but unwillingly subconscious, a physical response over mental.

"They can be trained," he asserts, a little deadpan. "You want to break one in yourself?"

It takes a few moments for the younger man to answer. "I— yes," Cas says quietly, sounding as if he's biting down on his lip and still managing to talk through the corner of his mouth. "Most the horses I trained I helped foal, but if you give me the opportunity to I can train from wild as well." From the sound of him, he's aware it's not at all the same.

As if he senses the man's annoyance, he takes in a breath and tries to sound more sure of himself. "I can do it." It only lasts a moment. "I mean, if you'll allow, sir."

Turning back to Cas, Edmund greases his palms together, watching his own hands rather than the stable boy in consideration. He does check him, though, beneath his eyelashes. "You won't be getting out've your usual tasks. You'll either work harder to make up for it or spare your own time. But if you sell it you can split a share of the profit, and if you want to keep it, I'll let you have it for less, providing you can manage. All've that fair?"

From the smile that blooms on his face, this is far more than Cas expected, it creases his eyes, dimples his cheeks and makes a lot of the tension fade from his shoulders and the fidgetting. "Yes, yes sir. That is more than fair." Despite the lessened tension, and lack of fidgeting, he gestures with his arms and hands, adding emphasis to his words even more than his excited tone does.

"I'll work extra hard and work with the horse on my spare time, anything that I need to do." The excitement settles into something lighter, more serious, and sincere, "Thank you, sir. I won't let you down."

"'s about the right amount of fair."

He moves, then, to pick up the coat he'd brought with him - regular, double-layered wool and tweed, rather than his kelpie pelt, which is wet somewhere on the inside from eventually being washed at the behest of others who might compain. Edmund tugs the coat on. "We have a few in the souther paddock. You can work on one out there. And don't expect that talking to it will fare you very well, they aren't the best conversationalists."

Which is a bit why Edmund likes them.

Without thinking about it, Cas laughs. Then stops and looks toward the side, as if realizing what that statement may mean. The smile doesn't fade completely, even then, as he takes a step back, "I'll check out the horses in the south paddock."

His voice still holds the excitement in it, though that more serious tone holds on. As much as it can. "I need to get back to my work, and I'll make sure to pick up the metal to trade for the holepunch before tomorrow morning."

"I'll be here, bright'n early," Edmund confirms with a nod, moving to leave the stables behind. It's really only when he is just in the corner of Cas' sight that he affords himself the smallest of half-smiles, turning up his collar against the inevitably chilly wind beyond the doors.