Title: Someone's Death Is At Your Door
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 12:51 AM (GMT)
Cameron exploded through the front door. Wolf was at the front counter, and he didn't even bother trying to make it polite. He leaned across the counter, over six feet of muscles and scary fury, and growled, "Isa Karun, right now."
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 12:58 AM (GMT)
The other over-six-feet-of-muscles, but this one sporting a vague look of annoyance on his face, walked into the front room a short while later, after Wolf took him away from actual work. He'd been doing work in the back room, where the fires were even hotter, so all Isa was wearing were his trousers and his leather gear. And he was very sweaty.
When he saw Cameron, his eyes narrowed and his hands folded to his chest.
"What is it now, Branth?" he grumbled from behind the counter.
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:00 AM (GMT)
"What did you do? Did you put her up to it?" He immediately began to pace, running his hand through his hair so roughly that it was a wonder he didn't rip his entire scalp free. "She won't even come back out to see us, because she's worried we'll make her come home-- and damn right, she should be worried about that!"
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:01 AM (GMT)
What the heck--?
"Slow down, dumb nuts. What are you even talking about?!" Isa demanded, feeling the hint of worry creep through his veins. He had a feeling he didn't want to know.
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:03 AM (GMT)
"Ari! She conscripted in the military this morning!" He was shaking with rage, or betrayal, or sadness, or worry -- all those things, all at once. "We got a freaking... little bag of money from them for--" He made a furious noise. "Was it your idea? I'll kill you if you put that thought into her head--!"
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:05 AM (GMT)
"WHAT!" His face had drained of all colour.
"HOW WOULD I EVEN-- WHY WOULD I EVEN--!!" Isa yelled back, feeling himself grow sick. It was like some sick joke. "You're fucking pulling my fucking leg!" he yelped, as if bitten by an animal.
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:07 AM (GMT)
Now they were both yelling like crazy people. "I don't-- I don't know what she's thinking, but we have to get her out of there before she gets herself killed. She likes you. Maybe she'll come out to talk to you," Cameron said, almost pleadingly, speaking fast and low. "Then you can grab her and drag her across the street, and I'll be waiting there with... I don't know, a burlap sack or something..."
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:09 AM (GMT)
Isa gaped at the guy.
"Do you have any idea what they do to deserters?!" he incredulously asked. "And their families?" he emphasised, his expression growing more bitter.
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:10 AM (GMT)
Cameron's eyes were a little crazed. "I can take her... somewhere else. Where they wouldn't bother chasing us. My family, they wouldn't be in on it..."
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:11 AM (GMT)
"Where, you fucking moron? The Mainland?" He almost laughed. No humour in his tone. Just complete frustration. "She stands better chances here."
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:13 AM (GMT)
Cameron was shaking when he finally stopped. "What about getting her discharged? I, I..."
Sorrow fell promptly into his expression, and his whole body sagged with it all of a sudden. He'd failed her. "I can't let... I can't let anything happen to her," he said, dully. "She lights me up inside."
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:15 AM (GMT)
"Very poetic," murmured Isa with a scowl.
Yet he leaned against the counter and buried his head in his hands.
You're a fucking idiot moron retard, Ari!
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:16 AM (GMT)
"Maybe I'll sign up, too. Watch out for her." But it was clear from his tone that he knew it was stupid -- and his family would slowly start to suffer without his help.
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:17 AM (GMT)
Isa didn't even dignify that. And he didn't look up.
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:18 AM (GMT)
"Do you think you might've said anything? Done something to fire her up?" Cameron just wanted to know why. "I promise I won't try and fight you over it. I just... I need to know."
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:23 AM (GMT)
"Fuck me if I know..." Maybe I should stop talking to people.
Ari Branth - April 7, 2012 01:24 AM (GMT)
Cameron made a frustrated, almost disgusted noise. "She sure looked up to that Avenger guy." He cut Isa a furious look. "Wanted to make a difference just like her hero."
Shrouded in anger, he turned to stomp out of the smithy. If he was wrong about his hunch, he was pretty sure he looked like a moron in there.
Isa Karun - April 7, 2012 01:28 AM (GMT)
"Whoopee-dee-doo..." murmured Isa, face still covered.
He heaved a very long sigh. Then another. Eventually, when he stood up he felt tired. Tired and helpless. Everything hurt with the kind of hurt that wasn't physical. And he walked into the other room and stared at his work with a sense of loss that was completely out of context.
Wolf gingerly walked in to check up on him only to find Isa glaring at the same piece of steel as the last time he'd walked into the room, eyes glimmering in the open fire.
When Tobalt came back, Isa resumed his work, but didn't say a word about his earlier guest. Eventually, Wolf stopped asking, Tobalt never knew and Isa was left to his own devices.
And guilt reigned supreme.