World's Supposed To Be Round

Title: World's Supposed to be Round
Time Period: May 23, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: To everything there is a season, and Beisdean's season in Dornie is done (again), he tells Niall.

The horse tied to the inn’s porch, recognizable to those who pay attention to such things as Beisdean’s Iago, is clearly ready for travel further than the end of town and back. The saddle bags are full to brimming and what seems to be a tent and sleeping roll rest across the back of the saddle itself. Perched on the roof above is a black raven that familiars — who pay attention to such things — would recognize as Darklight.

Beisdean, upon his arrival back in the winter, always claimed that he’d leave in the spring, but the spring came and he stayed — and gossip was that he’d changed his mind.

Apparently, he’d changed it back.

“Thank you for everything,” Beisdean’s voice can be heard as the door to the inn opens, and he steps out onto the porch. The bay gelding knickers at him affectionately.

“No sugar cubes today,” the mage murmurs, looking up at the roof above to check for the raven. Ready?

If you’re sure you want to do this, Darklight intones.

Familiar and no-stranger approach the Wandering Albatross in the form of bull, man and cart. At the moment, the cart seems empty save for the quiet clink of harness rings, the creak of the axle, and what sounds like empty metal mugs rolling about to the tune of the easy pace Stands-Fast takes to get to the inn. In comparison to the ghost whisperer, Niall is in far less of a hurry to go anywhere, and even less inclined. What he does incline is his head, seeing Iago laden with full pack. The sight draws curiosity, then furrowed brow.

“The pattern’s usually backwards, isn’t it,” notes Niall as he and Stands-Fast draw close enough to be in normal earshot. “People are coming in to town and staying, not the other way around.”

At the musical clank and clink of Niall’s approach, the younger man casts a glance over his shoulder, then shrugs at the comment. “I’m not the first person to just visit, I’m sure of that much, even if it’s irregular,” he says, checking the knots on the pack as he speaks before turning around to regard the other man fully.

“‘Twas always the plan to leave in the spring. I did what I came to do,” the words are perhaps a little defensive, when Niall hadn’t asked much at all.

“‘Nothing in this life becomes it like leaving it.’” The misquote is only off by a word and a tense, and the original is about death — but departure is a type of death, after all.

Be safe, brother, Darklight tells the other familiar, fluttering down from the roof to rest on Beisdean’s shoulder where he can see the bull better.

Stands-Fast slows his already deliberate plod to a halt, head lifting to track the path of the raven. You be sure to call me, lil’ bro, notes the kyloe in one big telepathic hug-n-shrug. The larger bull seems to take the sense of leaving in stride.

By comparison, Niall folds his arms across his chest to assess Beisdean with a niggling sense of disapproval, pushing a retort to the defensiveness. “Aye, nothing is like this life. And you only get one,” he says after a moment of inner turnings. The blacksmith doesn’t recognize the misquote, judging by his lack of pointing out such. “You made a promise to someone you aim to keep?” The question hangs upon invisible hook between them, as if he’s put it on display much like a project, to evaluate and determine if the cause of leaving is what he muses it to be.

“Or, you’re off to seek fame and fortune like the girl, Luna.” The last is spoken with a mild upturn of a mouth corner. The expression is brief.

The younger man raises a brow at the other man’s queries, and shakes his head. “No and no. I kept a promise by coming here. I planned to return, and people may expect it, down south, though it was never a sworn vow or anything of that sort. I haven’t left some lass in the lurch down in England, if that’s what you mean, nor am I leaving anyone here pining after me.”

Turning away again, this time checking the horse’s bridle for want of something to do with his hands, Beisdean glances over his shoulder again. “Fame and fortune’ve never been my goals. I would have abused my abilities if that’s what I wanted to do.”

He pats Iago’s neck, and turns once more to face Niall. “Dornie’s just a place, and my roots aren’t so deeply buried here that I can’t leave it. I wasn’t born here, and I don’t plan to die here. What’s the trouble with that?”

“Mm.” The sound Niall makes is undistressed by the answer, but one oft prompting of further defensiveness for those more used to extravagant reaction. “So you’ve just decided to leave town for no reason other than a whim,” concludes the blacksmith evenly, looking from the man to his horse and back again. Something lurks within his statement, however, that sounds darker than it ought to be for such innocent conclusion. “You’re sure you’re not leaving some lass in a lurch here? I know of at least a few ladies who will be sighing heavy tonight if you’re going today,” the blacksmith remarks, that dark moment lightening forcibly.

Stepping forward towards Beisdean and Iago, Niall takes in with a blacksmith’s eye the straps and buckles. It seems as if he too is not one for simple conversations with heavy subjects and non-physical action. The smith walks around the horse, casting his eyes down the legs to hoof, and turns back to the ghost whisperer. “The shoes on Iago, you’ve had them checked out already? They’ll hold on the road? If you want one last check, you can bring him by the forge.”

There’s a short pause before Niall adds, “Free, as a favor.”

“It’s not a whim. I had a life there, you know,” Beisdean says, the sullenness tempered a little by the favor Niall offers him. “I was more than an errand boy. I worked in a shop, surrounded by books. I had friends. Here… I’m tolerated, at most.”

He doesn’t mention that the friends there don’t know what he can do, and just think he’s a bit mad sometimes when he talks to the air.

“Thanks, mate, that’s much appreciated. They’re fairly new and should last, but it’s kind of you to offer,” he adds, reaching to shake Niall’s hand, grinning to shake off the gloom. “You’ll have to cheer up all the woebegone lasses on my behalf, aye?”

The blacksmith turns his attention from the horse’s legs to the man. “From the way the ladies look at you, I find it hard to imagine that you’re only tolerated,” replies Niall with a disbelieving shake of his head. At the mention of Beisdean’s life left behind, though, the smith’s features slip back to a facade of hiding what is held back and deep.

Stands-Fast tosses his horns in reaction, stepping forward a pace and lowing deeply in rumbling, soothing tones. Everybody hurts, Niall.

It’s when Beisdean takes up Niall’s hand to shake that the blacksmith snaps back as well, pushing a wry smile to the surface. “Believe me, I will comfort them as long as I can afford it,” jokes the blacksmith readily. “I still think you’re mad to leave this paradise when you almost were burnt to a crisp, batted about like a mouse, and possibly carried away by trolls and dragons and other beasties, but it’s your hammer to strike.”

He seems about to give his farewells, but pauses as a thought strikes him. “Where was it that you were headed to?” inquires the blacksmith with a cant of his head.

“Down in the southwest. Town called Clovelly,” Beisdean says, chuckling at the other man’s words. “I might see if I can find my old mentor on the way. That might change the plan, or it might not, I don’t know. But the plan as of now is to get back to my shop, to my life as I left it.”

He turns to pat Iago’s neck when the creature stomps a foot in impatience. “Where’d you come from? You sound Irish, maybe?” It’s hard to tell, sometimes, but Beisdean has more experience with people of far-off places than many others… mostly through his ghosts, who have come from all over. “You ever think of going back?”

“Clovelly. I heard of it, but our paths never crossed in that case.” In a world of so few people, any news certainly should get around when there is contact.

Niall’s mild grin widens as Beisdean recalls his blood, and nods several times… up until Beisdean mentions going back. Notably, Niall’s grin falters. His gaze averts as emotions suddenly bubble up. It’s difficult to tell between the grief or the cold rage. A calloused hand lifts, his thumb tracing the scar along his jawline that continues down his shirt. “Even if I could… there’s nothing there now,” answers the blacksmith quietly. “The hammer I brought with me - the one you see up on the sign - is all that’s left.”

Niall closes his eyes a moment, taking in a long breath and exhaling slowly as his inner lake is tossed about and finally settles. “I don’t remember much of it,” admits the man, “but what matters is now. With Stands-Fast here, and all the people.” He leaves off the ‘you too’, but raises a hand to clap it heavily on Beisdean’s shoulder.

Beisdean’s eyes drop when he realizes he asked after something painful, and he nods at Niall’s words, looking up again when his shoulder is rocked. “I’m sorry,” he murmurs, and then swings his other arm to grip Niall’s opposite shoulder.

“Take care of them. And yourself, too,” the younger man adds, dropping his hand. “I shouldn’t squander the sunshine. Be well, aye?” He turns to give Stands-Fast a doff of his cap as well, then mounts the horse in a fluid motion, long leg swinging over the saddle and the reins picked up, curled in his hands. Iago’s feet dance with some excitement for the ride ahead, as Beisdean moves him in a tight circle to face Niall, and the road beyond.

Keep safe and as steadfast as you are, brother, Darklight tells the bull, cocking his head to stare at the creature with those black eyes.

Niall watches the ghost whisperer go, lifting a hand in a wave. As the laden horse trots off down the road, the blacksmith turns back to his familiar and unhitches the cart from the bull. “Think he’ll be back?” wonders the man to horned companion.

World’s supposed to be round, answers the kyloe, a mental smile affected.

The smith thumps a hand on the bull at the other’s answer, and turns to watch the horse shrink further. “Aye, I suppose it is. God be with him now, and bring him back with good speed.”