Supported By Opinion

Title: Supported By Opinion
Time Period: January 23, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: A lot of things are based on opinions when two young men get together to gossip on their own.

The dusk is lit by a soft blue glow that reflects on the whiteness of snow; more of the white stuff comes fluttering down in fat thick flakes that cling to eyelashes and beard without melting until one goes indoors. Everything is muffled and still, and most people have found the indoor warmth for their evening meals by this time of night.

Horse hooves usually can be heard before their owners and riders can be seen, but the snow muffles Iago's hooves until he is nearly at the inn. Beisdean swings out of the saddle as to the ground to lead the bay gelding toward the stable; a dark winged thing above comes swooping down to land in the snow, where feathers shrink back into fur and wings forward into feet, as raven becomes marten.

"Oi, that was…" a voice suddenly says, with a distinct accent that rings of the south. "Really cool," the voice finishes, as the young man responsible becomes more easily seen in the pale light cast on the area. Cas' smile seems genuine enough, as he watches the marten that was a moment ago a bird. If familiars were all that came with magic, he might find himself envious.

"Oh— I know that horse," he says after a second, speaking his thoughts outloud. He's dressed for city travel, or at least in what must be nicer clothes, but not what most people would consider their best. There's still patches in various places. "Iago, right?" he asks, pointing at the horse he only met once. He remembers horses more than people, sometimes.

The marten tchs at Cas before scurrying off, and Beisdean chuckles, turning as he wraps the reins around his hands once. "Hey, Blackburn," he says lightly, chin jutting up to both acknowledge the man and also flip a long lock of hair back out of his eyes.

He begins to move toward the stable. "Yes, this is Iago. Do you remember my name or only his?" he says with a slight smirk, eyebrows raising as he looks at the shorter man and waits for the answer — if it were someone who'd grown up in Dornie, he wouldn't bother asking the question, of course, but Cas is from elsewhere.

"Mister— uh— " Cas visibly struggles, to the point of making gestures at the air as if he's trying to pluck the name from the sky. If only he'd taken that as a clue it itself. His hands drop as he seems to have failed to catch the fleeting fly that is the memory of another man's name. "Sorry— I forgot. Which— You remembered mine, so that kinda… looks bad on me, huh?"

A hand scratches at the back of his neck as he moves in front of the horse. Not to stop him in his motion, but to keep in front and try to help, even if just by opening the stall door. "I remember horses name's better. Kinda have to when you deal with them every day." Names of horses and pretty girls. But he won't say that part.

Beisdean nods as the door is opened, and Beisdean lets Iago in and begins the process of taking off the animal's saddle and bridle. "It's all right. Honestly, it's sort of nice to have people not know who I am," he says. Once he's hung the up the equipment, he stretches a hand out to the other man.

"Beisdean Skye. You don't have to go call me mister; I'm not the sort you need to impress or anything." He picks up a brush and sets to work on Iago. "I hear good things about you. Though it's getting late — shouldn't you be headed to the Dovetail 'bout now?"

There's a mischievous glint to Beisdean's gray-blue eyes as he teases the other.

For a moment it looks as if Cas might be about to reach out and try to unsaddle the horse himself. If is something he's likely done so much he's used to it. But once he remembers it's not his job he ends up just patting the horse's neck in a friendly way, stopping to reach out and accept the other hand.

The name giving makes him smile, as does the fact that the man doesn't need to be called mister— but the rest almost wipes the smile off his face rather suddenly. "What— I— I'm not— I wasn't— " He looks at the horse as if he might step in and speak on his behalf. Not likely to happen. He makes a soft sound, eyes widening a fraction before he looks back at the taller man. "Does everyone know?"

The other man's flustered reaction makes Beisdean smirk as he continues to brush Iago. "First thing to know about Dornie," says Beisdean, though his own accent hints of the south on some words, and sounds more local on others, "is that there are no secrets. The girls talk, the neighbors talk, the other patrons talk. If you visit one lady more than another, they talk. If you visit all the ladies, they talk. If you never visit the ladies, and you don't have your own lady to take care of matters, they talk."

He moves around to the other side of Iago, who huffs softly. "There's always talk. The question is if it's good or bad." He begins to brush again, then looks up with another playful smirk. "Like I said, I hear good things about you."

There's a moment where, the nervousness fades. The explaination seems to be understood, as his head tilts to the side and gives a small fraction of a nod. "Think I can see that— true of every town, I think," Cas responds outloud, lips pressing together in a tight smile. It's not as genuine as the smile toward the horse, but he's suddenly wondering just how good.

"I only visit… one. So I guess you're a… friend of Mariah's? Cause I know at least one who probably wouldn't say very good things about me… and I don't really know the others." While he moves around Iago, he keeps petting the horse's neck and mane, looking toward the tools as if tempted to grab one and help, but isn't sure whether to offer or not.

Beisdean notices the itch to help take care of the beast, and he smiles. "Feel free, if you've idle hands," he says, with a nod to the other tools. "And aye, I'm a friend, I suppose you can say, of Mariah's. I grew up at the Dovetail, so I know a few of 'em. Some better than others."

Finishing the cursory brush down and leaving that to the other man's care, Beisdean goes to fill a feedbag and then hang it for Iago to munch. "See, only one'll get people talking — even if it's not your girl," Beisdean explains. "The other girls get jealous and catty. Why do you like her but not them? Even if they have their own regulars, aye? So they talk. They need something to do while curling their hair and recovering from the night before, aye?"

Once he has the permission, Cas immediately grabs something other than a brush, but the hoof pick. It takes some moments of rubbing the horse's leg to make sure he knows it's okay before he'll try to check the hoof for anything that may have gotten stuck from the road. Daily hoof cleaning shouldn't be one of his favorite things, but it must be, if he chose to do that over anything else.

"Good boy," he even says gently to the horse, before cleaning out any dirt or rocks that might have found it's way into the hoof. "I guess that makes sense— I imagine horses would talk about the same things if they could. Why doesn't he ever ride me?" As he realizes what he just said he sets the checked hoof down and straightens, looking over at the other man. "Not that I'm saying they're horses or anything— I— Sometimes I should just stop talking."

Beisdean laughs at the word choice, shaking his head and then leaning against the stable door to watch the other man and his horse, watching for any warning signs the gelding might decide to be an asshole on this particular day.

He's Beisdean's, and like owner, like horse.

"Nah, be yourself. It's apparently charming or something." There might be the slightest bit of jealousy in that. "Just do me a favor and don't come haunt me when you die. The talkers are the worst." Well, after the ones who possess him, but he's not about to mention that.

"I— I wouldn't say I'm charming," Cas says in a shy way, deciding to move around the horse, unaware of the asshole signs that the other man is watching for. "I just— I don't know…" he says, rubbing the horse's other leg again, checking waiting to see if he'll even let him pick this one up. Some horses allow it once, but not again the seocnd time. It doesn't strike him as being an asshole, though.

It seems the conversation has distracted him too much to continue right away. Perhaps for the better. And it's not just because he's more modest and shy when it comes to any compliments. There's a mention of ghost. And haunting. And dying.

That brings confusion across his face and he moves to look around at the man. "I— am not sure I understand. I'm definitely not planning to die anytime soon— Uh— will try not to haunt you?" he says in tones that match his expression. "But if I do, I'll try to be… friendly?"

The horse lets his foot be pulled up, contentedly munching his oats. Beisdean smirks again, enjoying the fluster and fidget he incurs in the other. "You're just genuine. It's a rare thing they don't often see, and that's the treasure. Don't change."

As for ghosts, he gives a nod. "I see them. Ghosts. They talk to me, sometimes more. There's some that never shut up. Sometimes in languages I don't speak, so that's a bloody headache."

He watches the other man for a moment, then shakes his head. "You're not the type to stick around, though, I don't think, and if you did, I'd be able to block you out." He pauses a moment. That could be taken as an insult, perhaps, especially if he explained it a bit more, so Beisdean adds, "No offense."

"Not sure I'm as… genuine as she thinks I am," Cas says in soft tones, lifting up the horse's foot to clean out another hoof once he's sure the gelding doesn't intend to fight. Though perhaps he's less aware of what he's doing than normal. It's so engrained he can do it without thinking, though.

"That's— not so cool, I guess… The ghosts. I mean if they were all nice and just… but oh I get it— it doesn't seem like an insult. I wouldn't try to be annoying. I don't think… Sounds like the ones who would bother to stick around are either confused, bratty or just plain assholes." Setting the hoof down, he looks across at the taller man to add, "At least they could be polite to the only person who could see them, you know?"

Beisdean laughs. "You'd think, aye."

He watches, then tips his head. "Why do you say that — that you're not as genuine?" He grew up at the Dovetail — he can't help but have inherited a little bit of gossipmongery along with some of his other habits, good and bad.

"Are you just pretending to be boyishly charming and ingenuous, then? If so, color me duly impressed, mate."

"No, I'm not— " Cas bites back the words he's about to let spill out, visibly wincing as if he's not quite sure how to say what he wants to say. It's not something he's been able to share with anyone save the horses, and they don't have words to offer back. And he often has to watch when he says it, cause stablehands can be as gossipy. And their gossip more hurtful for his employment.

"I'm not pretending to be different, but— I'm still using her." He hesitates and adds a moment later. "I mean I get that she expects that, but she sometimes says things that— like she feels that I'm not. And I know I am and I…" he shakes his head. "It's getting a little complicated. Not to mention one of her other… clients… decided to punch me in the face," he says, rubbing his nose that is finally barely registering a twinge.

The taller man listens, and this time his smile is sympathetic. "Just because you're … using her… doesn't mean you're not genuine. As long as you don't lead her down the primrose path, aye? She knows what she is. The thing about a prostitute, they are very pragmatic, even if they act like they're not."

He reaches for a stable blanket to lie on top of Iago's back. "Trust me. My mum worked at the Dovetail. They're the least romantic people in the world… other than their children."

He winks at that, before patting the horse's neck and stepping out of the stable, holding the door for Cas.

"Oh, I know— she reminds me what she is, but then…" Cas' voice trails off, as he realizes the door is being held open for him and puts away the hoof pick, so that he can step outside without robbing the stable. "I don't think she's unromantic— I mean I know it will never,,, be more than what it is. But sometimes I almost forget that."

From the way he frowns a little, some things may be making it more easy to forget. There's a pause outside the door where he takes a breath, as if bracing himself for an answer to the question he asks. "So are you one of her… uh— costumers? Or are you just… friends."

Beisdean can't help but smirk at the last question, and his brows raise as he begins to move to the outside once again. "Oh, no, I'm not a patron. Larkie and I go too far back for that," he says, though he doesn't explain any further than that.

Holding the outer stable door for Cas, he whistles and the marten comes back out of the tree line, a bit of something furry in his mouth. "Caught a mouse, did you? That is utterly disgusting, mate," Beisdean tells the creature fondly.

Much better than that glop you eat for breakfast that looks like Iago's food, the marten replies before crunching the mouse down, bones and fur and all.

"Oh," Cas says quietly, pressing his lips together for a moment as he follows and watches the marten return with the mouse. Or at least he watches for a second then looks away, as if a little bothered by the crunching sounds. "Is it weird that I wish you were a patron of hers? At first I thought I'd be jealous, cause— you're so much better looking than me," he says it without even really seeming to give it a second thought.

"But I'd rather she be… selling her time to men who are somewhat nice and clean and good to horses— and understand what she is and not… like the one I met who punched me."

Who has started to take up the image of all the men who buy her time in his mind, from the twist to his face.

"Not weird if you know what it is and what you want out of it, I guess," Beisdean says with a smile. "And really, now, you're plenty handsome. And haven't you heard? 'Beauty, like supreme dominion, is but supported by opinion.' I dare say some would find you more attractive than me. You've a different look than me."

He flashes a bright smile. "And no gray hair, either. Charming and boyish for all the young ladies out there, a type I can't pull off. You'd be more a Romeo, I'd be more a Hamlet, to put it in the terms of the theatre. You should try for a part in Miss Rowntree's upcoming play, if you haven't already committed."

"Not yet at least," Cas responds with that boyish smile that dimples a cheek. Only making the case for him more. But he must find the other man quite good looking either way, as his opinion goes. "Mariah does seem to find me uh… pretty," he says as he touches his nose, as if not sure he likes the word so much as the intentions behind it.

"I did agree to be in her play, but I haven't started practicing yet. I'm going to need a lot of help. I— have heard a little of— those plays. But… was Hamlet the one who saw had the ghost? Of course you'd be great for him." Before his comment gets much time to settle he presses his lips to the side and seems to doubt his memory, "Or was that the one with the witches?"

And he won't comment on how close Romeo could be, due to his past— if Romeo had been a stableboy instead of the son of an influential family. "But even if you're not… a patron… I'm glad Mariah has a friend. She kept saying she didn't have more than one."

"Yeah, he's the one with the ghost," Beisdean says, amused. "MacBeth's the one with the witches. I don't think I'll be doing it, but thanks for the vote of confidence, mate."

He steps toward the inn and begins to tug off his gloves. "She's probably my only one. I hope it's mutual, but if she's counting recently and not me, maybe I'm mistaken." He doesn't seem upset at that prospect. He tips his head toward the inn, raising brows at Cas. "I'm going to head in for supper and an ale. You can join me, or I'll let you get on your way, homeward or … elsewhere." There's a knowing grin at that.

"You'd be good at it, if you know that much about the plays— more than me, for sure," Cas says, genuine in his impressed expression at the knowledge the man sports. But he doesn't push beyond that, looking past him through he door. "I should probably get going, but— chances are since the town is small we'll see each other again and— next time. Definitely."

As he steps back, rather than turning to leave, he asks as if recalling suddenly, "Can I call you Baze? I mean Skye's pretty easy, but— I like the sound of Baze. And you can call me Cas. Blackburn's kind of… family name and all. I only expect people who don't really like me to call me that."

The man chuckles, dipping his head to Cas in a small bow. "You can call me whatever you like, though I always retain the right to refuse to answer," Beisdean says with a grin. "But Baze is fine."

He straightens and mounts the steps to the inn. "Have a goodnight Cas. Tell Larkie hello for me, should you see her on this fine evening."

One more smirk is cast Cas's way before Beisdean disappears into the light of the inn's open door.