[identity profile] westin-sagert.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] estdeus_innobis
[Late evening of Wednesday, April 21 (day 325)]
[Approaching one's goal, or the end of one's rope, in the less reputable part of town]


It was the soup spoon, oddly enough. An accidental jostle of the draining rack while I was washing up after Sunday dinner, and I saw it start to fall and reached out on simple reflex to catch it easily out of the air. And then I stood in the kitchen for a moment, looking at it and turning it slowly between my fingers, which did not tremble or break.

I know--I have known quite well that the dreams are only that, even a shared phantasy is still only smoke and mirrors, but they have affected me quite strongly; I have been haunted by the uncanny clarity of the memory of my hands burning and shattering, and the lost and crumbling words of Bethlehem. And sometimes I will wake in the night and I am unwilling to reach for a light, out of fear that touching something will make my hands fall to pieces. I can certainly keep my home and person presentable, but my movements and grip have become taut and awkward when I pay any attention, as if I feared (so foolishly!) that whatever I was touching would turn to hot brass and sear me to the bone.

But I am well again, I have been since I reached my agreement with Morningstar. I know this, and while I am certainly willing to grant that there are things I do not fully understand, that does not excuse such unthinking and unnecessary avoidance of my calling. A man may accept that he does not possess the sum total of all knowledge without being reduced to a superstitious coward.

I have nothing to fear from dreams.

And it has been months since I worked properly on something.

So I have nerved myself to come out, and come looking for raw material. The streets south of my home are pleasant enough for a short distance, but as you go further and towards the west, a certain dilapidation grows. If I do not find someone, then there will be other nights--perhaps during the weekend, Market always seems to bring in rather a crowd--but I am rather optimistic.

[Open as discussed]

Date: 2011-06-13 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
It's not a bad night for a walk home from the tavern. The moon dances in and out of the clouds. The wind is light and doesn't interfere with my cigarette.

I don't see anyone on the streets, through the little alleyways are much darker and I pause on entering the narrow way to let my eyes adjust to the smaller amount of light. The moon chooses right then to go behind a cloud.
Edited Date: 2011-06-13 04:42 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-13 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
In the dark sounds seem louder than they do in light, but I still jump nervously at a sound like footsteps nearby and then a voice.

Good evening? A man's voice and he sounds, not nervous exactly, but maybe as unsure as I am. I lick my lips and reply, "Um...Evening."

Date: 2011-06-14 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
I trust, The voice continues, that you mean me no harm.I assure you it's mutual. I take one cautious step towards it hoping the clouds will move, I can sort of make out a shape that might be him in front of me.

Ah... were you travelling in any particular direction? I could use the company. Or I could make a point of clearing out of your path, if you would prefer.

The offer of company on my walk home is a little surprising but I suppose he could want the company as much as I might. This isn't be best place to be walking around after dark.

"Company might be welcome." I say after a moment's thought, "I was headed further down this way." I have no idea if he can tell which way I'm pointing. Which is further down the alley. It comes out nearer my building than the larger road. Though the clouds do seem to be thinning.
Edited Date: 2011-06-14 02:05 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-14 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
It sounds like he's moving closer, I'm terribly sorry, but the darkness... Which way, exactly?

Oh. I should have been more clear. "I was just going to the end of this and then it opens out again..." I add, moving out of his way as he steps forward.

I'm not sure this was a good idea, the two of us in this narrow place.

Date: 2011-06-14 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
Oh, well, alright then, my unknown companion says and we walk down the alley. Neither of us say anything until we reach the end. I am about to step into street when he speaks.

Pardon me, He says very politely, and I turn back to face him, But have we met?

"Before, you mean?" I answer, shaking my head. I can sort of see his face and while I might have seen him before I can't say that I recognize him. "I don't think so." I shift from one foot to the other and lick my lips, uncomfortable with standing here in this alley talking. A memory rises up. I think I dreamed something bad in an alley.

Date: 2011-06-15 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
Of course, he says and I am wondering what someone who talks so politely so formally, is doing down in this part of town. He puts one hand on my shoulder and I just manage not to flinch,Here, if I could just get past--Thank you.

The hand moves upwards and pain explodes in my head. Like an instant hangover. I roll my head and realize that something is in my hair and it hurts to move. Oh god, it hurts.

Date: 2011-06-16 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
More pain and then some one is holding me up and I am stumbling along with them. What happened? My head hurts and every step we take is like a spike driven inside my skull.

Where are we?

Date: 2011-06-16 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
After speaking with Mab at length about the matter, we decided that keeping an eye on "persons of interest" might be prudent. She, Liam and Jack have their rounds, of course, and I am always running about town at odd hours. Add Chester into the mix with his ability to go where he pleases...

well, we've been able to keep a pretty good eye on comings and goings.

Things have been pretty quiet, and maybe we were off the mark. Which does not bode well for me, but I don't want to accuse anyone if there has been no wrong-doing either.

I'm heading back from a quick call over by the Whitechapel, and cut over by Westin's just out of habit now. Don't expect to see anything, just perhaps a light in the library area or the bedroom---

or the man himself slipping down a side street keeping to the shadows. Hmmmmm.

Give it a moment, then follow behind. It's hard work, for he's a dark shadow moving in darker shadows, and I don't want to be too close. For all I know, he's just going to visit a friend, but Westin doesn't seem the type to take back alleys and stick to the walls and darker spaces. Hang back when I hear a voice, then another. I can't catch everything, but it seems innocent enough, two people walking together in a precarious spot.

The start to move away, and I follow behind, wondering again if I was wrong. Fuck, now what---

There's an odd 'thud' and a gasp, followed by another 'thud', and a soft moan. With these thinner alleys, the sounds echo a bit better, and that did not sound good. Wait another agonizing minute, then ease my head around the corner to see one shape supporting another.

Fuck. Me.

Run through all my options in my head. I hate the idea of leaving to get Mab, but the idea of finding someone else to send word seems worse. Fuck, FUCK FUCK!

Right, follow a bit more, and realize we are taking a meandering path back towards his house. Bite my lip, pray that something goes my way in Excolo just once...

then turn and sprint the opposite way, heading for the sheriff's office as fast as I can run as soon as I feel it's safe to do so.

Date: 2011-06-16 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
Making my night rounds is usually fairly uneventful on weeknights.
USUALLY.

Just checked in at the Office, my hand reaching into my coat for my lighter, when I run into Lucien. Or more accurately, he runs into me. Before Lucien can even say anything, I know that something's up, and there are so few reasons he'd come here at that sort of clip. And since he looks more pissed off than concerned, I assume its Westin up to tricks and not anything else wrong.

Wheel around towards Westin's place, and start off at a good clip, careful to not let my bootheels ring out. Figure he can fill me on the way, but its better to get there as quick as I can move.

Date: 2011-06-16 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
Mab's on the porch, about to light up, and before I can even open my mouth, she's running in the direction I just came from.

Turn on my heel and keep pace with her. I fill her in on what I saw, keeping my voice low.

"He's keeping to back alleys and dark streets, not the main road." I inform her, letting her take the lead a bit. "Figure he's gonna head for a back door or a basement, not the front entrance. Don't know who he's got, didn't get close enough to see, but they went from talking one minute, to him half dragging the other person the next. Sounded like someone hit something." Mouth set in a grim line, I point towards the one alley that I saw them head down.

Hope we catch up with Westin, and I didn't make the wrong call in getting Mab.
Edited Date: 2011-06-16 11:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-17 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
Since Lucien immediatly spins and follows me, I know my guess was right.
"Figure he's gonna head for a back door or a basement, not the front entrance. Don't know who he's got, didn't get close enough to see, but they went from talking one minute, to him half dragging the other person the next. Sounded like someone hit something."

"Makes sense. Easier to get the drop on someone when you tart a conversation with them first," modify my pace to something less than sprinting, since I don't want to get to Westin's place before he does and chance being seen too early. And if he's dragging someone, or even just walking them there, hopefully our paces will match up.

"When we get there- your priority is getting that person out of there, okay? I won't turn down help and I know you can give it, but I'm expecting you to help them and stay out of my shot. I don't want him taking anyone into that house," hope it doesn't come to that. But I'm literally running headfirst into a situation with nearly no plan. Hear the slightest jingle of keys, and my hand slides to check my right hand holster, which I've unsnapped somewhere along the way here. Thank the Lady I patrol with nearly my full rig on.

Date: 2011-06-19 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
We've just about drawn up to Westin's house, and Mab tells me point blank that my only purpose is to make sure whoever he's got is okay and get them to safety. "Not a problem." I murmur, and we both hear keys.

Mab draws and I nod.

"Better to wait until he gets whoever half in? Or move now?" I merely breathe near her ear. "Don't want to lose the chance to nail him if he's the bastard we want."

Date: 2011-06-20 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
Whoever it is tells me that I've hit my head which explains the pain and my lack of memory of the injury. I hope they are taking me to the doctor.

We stop at a house but I don't think this is the Doc's place. The stranger leans me up against a wall while they do something to the door. It feels so good not to move that I don't try to see what he's doing. I can hear the sounds of something meal though. Keys, I think. I want to ask him to get the doctor but he's already got my wrist and then my arm is over his shoulder. The door opens and I make a faint sound of protest at moving again. Why couldn't he have let me stay there?

Date: 2011-06-23 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
"Better to wait until he gets whoever half in? Or move now? Don't want to lose the chance to nail him if he's the bastard we want."

Turn my head the barest fraction of an inch, enough so he can hear me, but enough to watch Sagert hoist the other person, "Now, but slow-like."

As I start moving though, he opens the door and swings the other person into the house. I'm running at that instant, drawing on a speed born of necessity. I'm standing in the doorway before he can even turn around, feet evenly placed for balance, but also so that he can't shut the door on me. Hope Lucien's close behind, but damned if I can do anything about it now.

"Evening, Mister Sagert," I smile as I saw it, and I feel lips shifting to show my teeth.

Date: 2011-06-23 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
I follow her lead, creeping up behind, and when she breaks out and runs, I am just two steps behind her. Mab all but plants herself in the doorway right before Westin can close it in her face. I hear a groan from the shadows, and my hands itch to get inside and take whoever it is out, but I force myself to wait.

At least it looks like we've completely ruined Westin's evening.

Date: 2011-06-24 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
At least it is a short trip this time. Two or three steps in and then I get to lean against the wall again. I am so glad to stop moving that I don't notice the footsteps and so am surprised when a woman appears in the doorway, someone else behind her.

Her smile is sharp as she greets the fellow by name, Evening, Mister Sagert.

I think I know her...What's the sheriff doing here? The man who told me I'd hit my head, Mr. Sagert, is not happy to see her. His voice is sharp and his words carry a chill to them. I sag against the wall with another moan, waiting, hoping that someone will get the doctor soon.
Edited Date: 2011-06-24 01:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-24 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
"Excuse me. Good evening."
Oh, I do think we've ruined his mood. He's only inches away now, in his house, but he wasn't expecting anyone. Least of all me. Hopefully that'll be more than enough edge.

The moan of pain from his companion decides my next tactic though, especially when they raise their head and its Damien. Friends with John Theiss, spent a fair amount of time sitting by his cell. Knows me and the Doc, which'll make it all easier.

"I saw you and Damien there, as Doctor Constantine and I were taking a walk. We figured we'd offer our assistance. Looks like a head wound, better to get it fixed up, yes?" Hopefully he'll invite us in. I know he's so very polite, and that'll mean I won't have to knock him down or anything.
Edited Date: 2011-06-24 07:13 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-06-25 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
Again, the figure moans, and I move into the line of sight as Mab explains that we were out for a walk together and that Damien looks to be hurt.

"Looks like a head wound, better to get it fixed up, yes?" Well, if that's not a lead in, I don't know what is.

"I am quite sure I could manage....but do come in."

That's all I need. "I am sure Damien appreciates the offer." I say with a easy smile, slipping in and getting my arm around Damien's waist, pulling his weight onto me. "Maybe you and Mab can look around and find me something to clean and bind the wound with?" I suggest helpfully.

"Damien, are you alright?" I ask, moving his hair aside and wincing at the mark on his temple.

Date: 2011-06-25 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
The sheriff and Mr. Sagert keep talking and I think that he's going to the let them in even if he's rather not. I hear my name but when I look up I see the doc moving in. I have no time to think about what it means that he and the sheriff were walking near by.

Doc comes right over and puts one arm around my waist and pulls me up, too fast for me to panic about it. Besides moving makes the pain worse, even such a small shift. I'm sure I make another sound at that as he asks, Damien, are you alright?

His other hand pushing my hair aside, I can feel the movement he makes as he looks at my face and hope it covers my flinch at his touch. "Hurts..." I say, "Hurts less if I don't move." I add. I hope he won't want to look at any other part of me. It's only my head that got hit.

Date: 2011-06-27 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
"Oh, absolutely, I am quite sure I could manage--but do come in."
Words are barely out of his mouth before Lucien is in the room, and moving to Damien's side and checking him over. I step aside to let the man work, and to surreptitiously glance around the room. I unconsciously tag the door and move closer to Westin when its suggested we get supplies.

I gesture Westin towards what I assume is the door into the rest of the house, and try to smile warmly. I intend to stay on his heels; don't think he plans to bolt, but why chance?

Date: 2011-06-28 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
Westin's bidding us come in further, and it's really the last thing I want to do, but Damien's complaining of pain and movement. "Alright, lets's get you to a chair, and we'll get you steadied before we go to the office." I tell him, moving slowly down the hall.

We get to the kitchen, and I set Damien down in a chair and Westin starts running water. I don't keep a sharp eye Westin, I leave that to Mab as I take the wet cloth proffered.

"Do you and Dr. Constantine often go walking, Sheriff Devarn?"

Dab at Damien's head gently, wiping away blood and grit. "I am often out late on calls, Mab often escorts me if her schedule allows." I lie easily enough, trying to get a look at Damien's pupils as I work. "Besides, every one in Excolo knows, the red-heads are the most dangerous. Better to walk with one than piss one off."

Damien starts when I touch him, and I steady him before he falls off the chair. "Hang in there, we'll get you home soon."

Date: 2011-06-29 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
Thankfully it isn't far and I get to sit down when we get there. The light in here hurts my eyes and everything's a bit blurry, so I let my eyes go almost closed. I can hear water running. There is a conversation going on above me but My head still hurts too much for me to pay attention to it if I don;t have to.
And the cold cloth on my head feels good. Except when he hits the edge of something and the pain spikes again.

Lucien, Doc, keeps me from falling out of the chair; telling me, Hang in there, we'll get you home soon.

I open my eyes a little more, look up at him through my lashes, whisper,"Thank you, Doc."

Date: 2011-07-01 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
"I am often out late on calls, Mab often escorts me if her schedule allows. Besides, every one in Excolo knows, the red-heads are the most dangerous. Better to walk with one than piss one off."
Smirk at that. Maybe I should actually start doing that- not that he needs my protection, but it'd be nice to know where he was most nights if there was an issue. And then there's nights like tonight- damn good thing he was out.

I stay out of his way, best to let the man work. I'd be happier though if he just took Damien and left, but it'd probably be far too obvious to Westin. Don't want to have him lash out until Doc has the kid steady. Besides, its far more enjoyable if I can goad him into dropping something.

"Looks like its a good thing for Damien here that you happened by. D'you know what happened?"

Date: 2011-07-02 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
Mr. Sagert makes a dry comment about pissing women off, and I chuckle. "Ah, but you never know what the trigger is that will make a woman go ballistic." Turn enough to give him a easy smile. "For example, that poor boy you helped me with at the Abbey? Now he had a rather tempramental woman looking out for him. If she ever got her hands on them..." Shake my head and smile. "Well, I would actually pity that person."

Mab asks if he knows what happened. "I was coming up the road, and I heard noises in one of the alleys. I stopped to look, and saw someone trying to dash his brains out on the wall, so I shouted and his assailant ran off."

Here... how to play this? Wish I could look to Mab, but there's no time for hesitation. Look at him rather confused. "Really? Mab 'n I were coming back from a call over at the Deysher place, over on that back alley that connects with Keat, and I didn't hear you yell or see anyone go running. Sound carries really well down those alleys..." I muse, shaking my head again.

Turn back to Damien, and please GOD remember! "Do you remember anything Damien?" I ask, voice gentle. "Were you talking to anyone before you hit your head?"

Date: 2011-07-02 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
I look up as the sheriff says my name, and then Mr, Sagert is claiming to have stopped someone who was hurting me by shouting and that seems wrong. I want to frown but know it will hurt if I do. Doc seems to think the same as he says he and Sheriff Devarn were in the area and didn't hear anyone yell.

So of course he asks me about it using a gentle voice, Do you remember anything Damien? Were you talking to anyone before you hit your head?

This time I can;t stop he frown before it happens and I wince and put a hand up to my head. "Yeah...I was. But there was only...My eyes go wide as the memory comes back. The hand on my shoulder, and then in my hair. The pain. I look accusingly at Mr. Sagert.

"It was him! He--you hit me!"

Date: 2011-07-04 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
Oh, someone is getting tetchy. Doesn't like me talking about Derek, and seems to get unruffled talking about whomever may have done it getting what they deserve.

"I have been given to understand that Excolo operates under a rather reliable rule of law. I would expect such rule to be a more effective bane to the monster who tortured that boy than the directed hysteria you seem to be describing."

I nod back gravely. "Oh yes, the law here is quite good at serving justice. Just look at the Donner case." Think of Benedick swinging in the breeze. "Beside's... I was just prattling. I would think the person that did what was done would have enough sense to get the hell out of town before the law or a mob catches up with them."

Westin goes on to defend his version of the story, that someone else hit Derek and there is no way we could have heard him. Shrug a little. "Perhaps you're right. Maybe it was just dumb luck the night I heard my friend shuffling down the alleys two blocks away."

"Yeah...I was. But there was only..." Damien struggles to remember, his head obviously hurting him, and I feel badly. Maybe it's time for me to get him out of here, and some fresh air will---

"It was him! He--you hit me!"

Westin immediately gets angry, protesting his innocence and looking for gratitude of all things! Well, whatever, it's Mab's show now. I rise and get an arm around Damien and help him up.

"Come on, let's get you out of here and back to my office." I'm done, and it's time to get Damien out of here. Granted, I won't be going any further than just outside the door until Mab comes out, but he need not know that.

Date: 2011-07-04 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
"I stopped to look, and saw someone trying to dash his brains out on the wall, so I shouted and his assailant ran off."
"It was him! He--you hit me!"


Good kid, its so refershing when they remember something useful, "I did not, I was there directly after you were hit, and have done nothing since but tried to help you, for which you are welcome."

I take a step toward Westin, putting myself between him and the others, "I think you should come back with me Mister Sagert. Get this all straightened out," I'm ready to knock him down if he moves wrong, but I keep my face as open as I can. No use pushing too hard since I've barely dealt with this man before. Don't know him well enough to predict his reaction to that, doubt he'll give himself up easy though. Folk almost never do.

Date: 2011-07-05 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damien-dw.livejournal.com
Westin gets upset at my accusation and contradicts me. The Doctor decides that we ought to go and puts his arm around me to help me rise from the chair. The cold cloth and the rest has helped my head some. It swims a bit when I get up but the pounding isn't as fierce so I don't protest the move as it would have have earlier. I do hope his office isn't too far away though. Come on, let's get you out of here and back to my office.

I notice that the sheriff has stepped closer to Mr. Sagert and is telling him that he should come with her. I hope he agrees so that we can get this sorted out soon and I can get some rest. I don't want to be stuck arguing about this all night.

I expected us to be going directly to the doctor's but Lucien halts us as soon as we're outside. I sag against the wall, at least the light out here doesn't hurt my eyes, and look to the doctor. "We waiting for the sheriff?"
Edited Date: 2011-07-05 12:50 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-05 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] docconstantine.livejournal.com
"I think you should come back with me Mister Sagert. Get this all straightened out," I hear Mab say as I manuver Damien down the hall and out. I also hear Westin agree, since there is only one witness. Well, it'll be up to Mab if we should reveal that we've been keeping an eye on him, and I was closer than I said I was.

We get out into the night air, and I loiter at the door.

"We waiting for the sheriff?" Smart kid.

"Just want to make sure she gets out. I know she can handle herself, but he would have an advantage being in his own home." I tell him in a hushed tone. "Just walk slow and act woozy, okay?" I ask, looking behind me. "She should be out any second, and once she is, we'll go." I assure him.

Date: 2011-07-06 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regal-vigilante.livejournal.com
"Of course. I understand that this is the sort of thing that requires prompt attention, and you do have only one eyewitness who was not in a dark alley with a head injury. Shall we?"
You'd be suprised what I have you arrogant son of a bitch.

Wait until Lucien gets Damien out, then gesture for Westin to lead the way. Stop to let him lock his door as I consider my options. Came in too hard, and let him almost catch us in a lie. Doesn't matter if Lucien saw him bashing the kid's head in- he'll be able to say we said we weren't there. I'll be able to keep him tonight, but unless Damien can very positively ID him later, nothing else will come of this. We saved Damien tonight, but I'm almost back to square one.

"If you'll come this way Mister Sagert. I assume cuffs won't be necessary?"

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