Repetition 11am

Title: Repetition 11am
Time Period: February 2, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: The tables turn on the soldier in in favor of one or two of his victims.

The market square isn't as busy close to the lunch hour. Most of the wares have been picked over by the wives of Dornie, looking for something different to serve for supper or just something different. Through the middle of the square a tall man, with a posture that hints that he's in pain, directs a string of sailors carrying barrels and boxes. He isn't very kind to them.

"He grew into quite a handsome man," a whisper, with breath as acrid as sulphur caresses Beisdean's ear. The woman who stands there could be mistaken for Aislinn Rowntree, at a distance, until she turns to face him. Long curling hair that's a mishmash of blonde and ash gives way to a scalp that's burned clear through to the skull. No eyelid protects the clear blue eye that stares unblinking at the ghost whisperer and half of her mouth is forced into a permanent smile. It seems that half of her entire body, the half she tries not to show him, is as crisp as a fire roasted chicken.

Turning her head again, the woman gives Beisdean only a view of the good half of her profile. "We would have been so happy together, don't you think?"

Beisdean doesn't stop his stroll when the ghost's whisper breaks him from his reverie; he's learned, at least until they begin pushing too hard or insisting too much, to ignore the ghosts when he's in public. His eyes flit to follow her gaze to where the militia man gives orders, and then flit back to her in time to see just how this particular ghost met her end.

After all these years, he's not hardened enough — his even gait's rhythm is ruined; he pauses, both in step and in any sort of answer to her question.

Blue eyes flit again to the militia man. Handsome? Beisdean might have thought so, if he'd had a chance to know the man without cruelty. "I don't think anyone would be happy with him, no," he says honestly. "Please, whatever it is, I cannot help you."

"We were happy once, before he grew soft. It was so long ago…" The ghost's voice has a musical quality to it, lilting at all the right syllables, perfect pronunciation, nothing like most of the inhabitants of Dornie, or Scotland for that matter. She draws closer, brushing against his shoulder and then dodging behind his back, hugging him with her one good arm and leaning against him hard enough to press her cheek to his ear. "We were going to be married, then the accident happened."

Across the courtyard, Jain's head lifts. His chin and cheeks covered in stubble that's only a few days old. Whoever has been taking care of him has either cut his beard or forced him to shave. His eyes flit in Beisdean's direction and then narrow, fixing the other man with a cold and solemn stare.

"Oh… he doesn't like you, does he?" The ghost seems almost amused at that, keeping the man trapped tightly to her from behind. She's not quite as tall as Beisdean, but nearly. She does need to stand on her tiptoes to rest her chin on his shoulder, which she seems to relish in doing. "I would like for you to pass along a message. Do this for me and I will leave you forever… If you don't, well, let us say that I am an excellent critique at technique. I've seen you before and you are a prideful thing, aren't you?”

Beisdean looks away as soon as Jain glowers in his direction, and he stiffens as the woman presses up against him. He flinches away, eyes closing, head tipped down and away.

The proposal makes him grit his teeth, tendons standing out firmly against his lean neck. "You truly belong together, I see," he says coldly, eyes opening again as he searches the sky for a familiar form, though it's not to be found. "A single message? Perhaps I can do so, but I don't guarantee that it will be well received. Most don't like to hear from my visitors, and he doesn't like me, as you've noted."

"Tell him…" Her voice drifts as she considers her words carefully, her tongue dragging across the good half of her lips to wet them before sucking her lower one in between her teeth. "Tell him that mummy still loves him dearly and that she'll be waiting to hold him again. This time nothing will come between us."

She pulls away then, lifting a piece of her filmy shroud to cover her burned shoulder. The sleeve is long enough that it hides the entire offending arm and that half of her body from Beisdean's eyes. "Use those exact words or our bargain is void."

The man's brow knits, and when the words come together, making sense finally, Beisdean looks first to her, and then across the square to Jain with a look of disgust. His head shakes and he pulls himself out of her grip, turning his back on the militiaman.

"I won't," he says simply, a vehement shake of his head to punctuate the terse declaration. "You should let go of the past. Move on to whatever's next. He's tarnished by whatever's in his, but I won't dredge it up. It can't do any good to you or him."

He bows his head politely, though his eyes are cold and hard. "Please, let me be." He begins to walk again.

"No."

Contrary to the shade's negative statement, she's gone in less time than it takes Beisdean to blink. He might feel her, though, behind him as she glares pinholes through his skull. Then a smirk twists her lips on one side into something wicked.

Across the courtyard, Jain glances toward Beisdean once again, his eyes narrowing a little. Suspicious of the other man's presence in the market, he checks to make certain the last of the sailors are well on their way into the Albatross before taking his own steps across the cobbled stones. There's no claymore on his back, perhaps due to the manner in which he carries himself. Like his breath is held or very shallow.

"Hold, Skye, what is it you're doing in the market today?" Cold green eyes flit toward the other man's hands before he reaches behind his back, pulling a pistol from his belt.

The blue eyes that dart to Jain's face hold neither Beisdean's usual contempt for the militiaman nor any fear. "Looking for you, Jain MacCruimein," he says, suddenly, and steps forward toward the wounded man. The pronunciation of the name — Ee'n M'Crimmon — is lilted in a way that only one person has ever said his name, and certainly not the tall man striding toward him with no regard for that gun, no fear in his eyes as he gazes on Jain's face.

"You would pull a gun on me — after all these years?" Beisdean scoffs, reaching for Jain's wrist, curling strong fingers around it as the spirit within takes advantage of Jain's surprise.

Those cool eyes scan the marketplace for anyone watching, then Beisdean leans close enough that his warm breath moves Jain's long hair when he speaks again. "Have you missed me?"

Eyes widening, Jain's expression first registers confusion before horror sets in as he stares directly into Beisdean's blue eyes. For a long moment he's caught, like a roe buck in lamplight. His skin crawls with forming goose pimples, recognition of the entity inside the other man causing all the air to escape his lungs in a painful gasp, nay sob. The highlander's focus breaks away and he turns his head toward the marketplace. He's unwilling to call for help, his own fear rendering him unable to free himself from the medium's grip.

"Sarah," he wheezes, the sheen over his irises makes them glitter much too brightly in the mid morning sun. "You're dead, she made me… She said it was the only way, you'd never understand."

"'You're dead,' he says," Beisdean's voice drawls out with mock amusement, tilting her head as if to speak to someone near, though there's no one else close enough to hear. Sarah's laugh is nearly that of Jain's memory, though mirthless and lower in Beisdean's throat.

It stops abruptly, and Beisdean's hand tightens, turning that wrist back just enough to threaten a break. "Am I, Jain? How did I die? Tell me what you did. Say it." These words are hissed into his ear, and Beisdean's hand on Jain's forearm presses it back toward the militiaman's body — for a moment, it's a relief as the pressure on the tendons and bones of the wrist relents, but then his own arm presses against his broken and battered ribs with a sickening and slow pressure.

Beisdean's hand slides lower along the arm to wrap his hand around the gun while he waits for the reply to his words.

"You came to my room," he whispers, wincing and bending forward as his ribs fold to the stress placed upon them. Jain is much too proud to cry out, his eyes flicking toward a woman who has slowed her step to observe the two. There's no pity in her eyes as she watches the watchman get bested by the son of a dead whore. Karma, maybe. He looks away from her to give Beisdean, or Sarah, a pleading glance. "You saw us together, I'd killed her because I was angry at her… You beat me across the back… but none of it was real. When I woke she said it was the only way for us to be together, I had to leave but I couldn't leave you alive if I wanted her."

The choice he made is obvious.

"I hit you over the head, so you wouldn't wake up…" The militia man's chin quivers as he tries to blink away the pain caused by mental anguish rather than physical distress. Both at once takes its toll and a rivulet streaks down from the corner of his dunn colored lashes and into his stubble. "Then I set the house on fire… She wanted to hear you scream for what you did, for the pain you caused."

"She," Beisdean echoes, the gun slowly drawn from the other man's hand, while Beisdean's other hand slides along Jain's face, fingers curving along the hairline gently, lovingly, before his thumb slides up to catch the tear, then slowly slides across Jain's lower lip.

"I should have known you loved her more than me… we could have been so happy, Jain." Beisdean's voice is a low purr, his lashes dipping as his head lowers. He pulls Jain by the shoulder into the alley closest to them, out of the sight of the market's patrons.

"Maybe we still can be," he suggests, bringing his face closer to the older man's; Beisdean's lips brush Jain's temple. "What do you think? I could get used to this strong body… I could forgive you, Jain, if you love me still…"

Too stunned to fight it, Jain gives away the pistol, his arm going limp once free of the weight. When his hand slaps down against his thigh, the smack wakes the soldier enough that he jerks his head away from Beisdean's thumb. He stumbles backward a step, surprised at the other man's audacity, not quite understanding the situation. Sarah, in this body.

The highlander is easily guided toward the alley, his eyes flitting between the snowy ground and Beisdean's profile with each step. A twitch of his lips in a grimace illustrates the pain as he sucks in a half lung of air, it's let out in a tremble. As though possessed by an entity all his own, his hands move to the other man's hips, his thumbs brushing along the bone before settling on the small of his back. His eyes half lid, turning his own head attempting to reciprocate the touch of lips against Beisdean's retreating cheek. "I'll always love you. Sarah, I— "

From behind them the air fogs as a series of angry huffs mark Traa-dy-Liooar's displeasure. She rakes her horn against the closest wall, her shaggy red fur flowing like fringe from her forehead and neck. The mish mash of despair and swell of something she's only allowed him to feel for her in years brings out a form that she wishes had more fangs. But this will do…

I forbid this.

Beisdean's lips curl in a salacious sort of smirk when Jain's lips brush his cheek. But they are rudely interrupted, and the younger man's head snaps to view the incoming beast.

There's not the slightest bit of hesitation — the gun hand rises, and it turns on the creature, but then the man laughs, a low cackle. "There are other ways to be together than to borrow this body," he says, and the gun turns instead on Jain, jerking into his bruised gut hard — if that weren't punishment enough, he tips the gun's nose upward, hooking it under the ribs so that the bullet will blast its way up through lungs. A painful way to die.

"Give us a kiss, m'leannan," Beisdean whispers, lips pressing to Jain's even as he pulls the trigger.

There's a moment of panic when his familiar's voice cuts through his thoughts, like a hot knife through a frozen pat of butter. She brings clarity and overwhelming guilt, even as Jain's confused glance into Beisdean's eyes betrays the longing for just one more touch from someone lost so long ago. Squeezing his eyes shut, he whips his hand up to the back of the other man's head, crushing lips and forcing his tongue through to tangle. Cheating on the cow is ignored in favor of what physical pleasure he can gain at the moment.

The shot echoes through the narrow alley. Jain's eyes fly open and he falls backward then down to his knees, staring up at his first love, the body she possesses. "Sarah…" he places a hand to his upper abdomen, the point of entry and peels it away again. The blood brings a small smile to his lips. "You forgive me…" it's a question as much as an assumption. She wants to be with him.

The bellow of the cow brings the attention of more than one of the market goers. Curious peeks into the alley turn to screams of panic. There's blood, a man with a smoking gun, and a cow with her horns pointed, raking one hoof against the cobblestone. Until today, it's a tradition hoarded by Pamplona.

There's an inarticulate cry as Beisdean shoves back and away from Jain, one hand flinging the gun away from himself as he fights to keep his balance. He's reeling with a mixture of adrenaline borne of horror and fear and exhaustion from having been the vehicle for the vengeful Sarah. Legs move, too fast for him to control them, and he stumbles backward away from the familiar.

His blue eyes, wide and horrified, no longer have Sarah's mischievous glint as he turns to look at Jain's bleeding form. "Noooo," he moans, bumping into the wall of the building behind him.

One curved horn catches against a wall and Traa-dy-Liooar yanks at it, tearing a gash into the mudded exterior as easily as if she were ripping paper. She bellows again, a second before the clip clop of hooves rattle through the small space. She's ignorant of her own dimensions, too embroiled with conflicting emotion to be able to judge whether her mass can fit through the tight space. Jain is trampled as she bypasses him in favor of her victim.

The highlander cries out as she flings him to the side and runs over his legs. Sarah's no longer with him, he felt it in the repulsion from Beisdean. There's no pity for the fate of the other man as Jain's eyes start to close. Before the darkness and peace overwhelms him, he witnesses the cow impale the conduit used by Sarah. Her folly, really, had she not taken him by surprise…

Across the courtyard, Jain's glance turns to a longer gaze as his green eyes seek out Beisdean's blue ones. A hand moves to his chest, massaging the sudden warmth felt just before he breaks away, shaking his head. A small flush of his cheeks and ears is enough to cause a few of the gossips to eye Beisdean curiously.

"What have you done? What's happening? Why is he leaving?" The ghost shrieks her questions as the militia man stalks away from them, putting more and more of the market goers between her and her prize. "What have you done?!"

Beisdean does his best to ignore the ghost, head down and concentrating as his long legs take him as far and as fast as they can from Jain in a short amount of time. Only when he's out of the marketplace does he stop, slumping on the stoop of a small shop and burying his head in his hands, palms burying into his eyes as if he could rub the sight of the burned woman out of them. "Just let me be," he murmurs — to no one. He's finally alone.